Assessing Adult Attachment: Relation and Validity of two Dynamic-Maturational Model Approaches

Albert L. Pace, Rodger K. Bufford

Abstract


Assessing attachment is essential yet challenging. The Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) provides the best appraisal of adult attachment but is time-intensive and costly. Likewise, concerns have been raised regarding the Berkeley-AAI coding and classification method. Meanwhile, self-report measures of adult attachment are time-efficient and low-cost, but their validity is questionable. The Dynamic-Maturational Model approach to the AAI (DMM-AAI) and a novel self-report measure – the Attachment Relationship Questionaire (ARQ) – may offer a solution. However, additional investigations regarding the validity of DMM-AAI are needed and the ARQ’s psychometric properties have not be tested. The validity of the DMM approach to the AAI and the predictive relationship between the ARQ and DMM-AAI classification were examined for 212 participants living the UK. Results indicated a strong positive relationship between high numbered attachment classification on the DMM-AAI and psychological treatment status, χ²(6) = 56.07, p < .001; Cramer’s V = .371, p < .001. Binomial logistic regressions between the ARQ and DMM-AAI found both single-statement and multi-statement predictive models were statistically significant. However, the ARQ accounted for only a small amount of the variance (R² ≤ 0.15). In conclusion, the DMM-AAI demonstrated strong construct validity, whereas the ARQ is not useful for assessment of adult attachment. Further investigation with a revised version of the ARQ that addresses psychometric concerns is suggested.

Keywords


attachment; adult attachment interview; dynamic-maturational model; self-report

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5964/ijpr.v12i2.318