Can a father be a primary attachment figure?

In theory, yes, but the mother is biologically programmed - through the action of the hormone oxytocin during pregnancy and birth - to have a ‘head start’ in the process of bonding and attachment.

However, if the father spends the most time ‘mothering’ the child in the early months – say if the mother is working full time outside the home - it is likely he will become the primary attachment figure.