Object attachment, transitory attachment, and materialism in childhood

Marsha L. Richins, Lan Nguyen Chaplin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Children attach to objects for many reasons. Early research on object attachment focused primarily on infants and toddlers and their attachment to soft objects as a source of security, but this review reveals that children of all ages attach to a variety of objects and with a variety of motivations. This review also introduces the concept of transitory object attachments, in which children quickly attach to an object but un-attach almost as quickly. Repeated transitory object attachments are manifest as materialism. After a discussion of motivations for object attachment generally, the review focuses on the insecurities of childhood that can foster transitory object attachments and materialism in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-25
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent opinion in psychology
StatePublished - Jun 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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