Attachment theory, teacher motivation & pastoral care: a challenge for teachers and academics

Philip John Riley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The hypothesis that an unconscious need for a corrective emotional experience (CEE) drives the choice to care for others was investigated via attachment style and feelings of anger at students and staff. Data were obtained from 750 pre-service and experienced teachers, including 179 principals, who completed one of two versions of the Experiences in Close Relationships questionnaire and reported anger toward students and staff. Significant differences between subgroups in relation to Attachment and Anger were found. Pre-service teachers reported the highest levels of attachment insecurity, Principals the lowest. Only secondary teachers reported Anger at Staff and higher Anger at Students frequencies. If initial motivation to teach is predicted by insecure attachment, teacher preparation courses should take this into account.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112 - 129
Number of pages18
JournalPastoral Care in Education: An International Journal of Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Cite this