Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

MA in Child Development

First Advisor

Emma Forrester

Second Advisor

Cindy Puccio


A child’s relationship to their caregivers is one of the most influential factors in their lifelong development. Early caregiving patterns form scripts that shape how a child understands and interacts with the world around them. These early attachment patterns inform parenting behaviors across generations, as individuals often parent their offspring in ways shaped by their own early experiences. Central to forming parent-child relationships is the concept of play. Play has value in supporting parent-child attachments as well as revealing existing relational patterns and caregiving behaviors. The current study examines the attachment relationships of families in a parent-toddler play group in New York City. The families in the play group were from Latin American immigrant backgrounds, demonstrating intergenerational and cultural differences in play experiences from the typically studied WEIRD (Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic) populations. The current study examines the use of play-based attachment work as a culturally sensitive intervention, demonstrating the value of using play to strengthen parent-child bonds.

Included in

Psychology Commons