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Self-Report Measurement of Adult Attachment: An Integrative Overview.

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Self-Report Measurement of Adult Attachment: An Integrative Overview Kelly A. Brennan State University of New York at Stony Brook Catherine L. Clark Western Consortium for Public Health Phillip R. Shaver University of California, Davis In J. A. Simpson & W. S. Rholes (1998) (Eds.), Attachment theory and close relationships (pp. 46-76). New York: Guilford Press. Address correspondence to the first author at the Department of Psychology, State University of New York at Brockport, Brockport, NY 14420. Electronic mail inquiries may be directed to [email protected] Self-Report Measurement of Adult Attachment: An Integrative Overview Ever since Hazan and Shaver (1987) showed that it is possible to use a self-report questionnaire to measure adolescent and adult romantic-attachment orientations (secure, anxious, and avoidant--the three patterns identified by Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters, and Wall, 1978, in their studies of infant-caregiver attachment), a steady stream of variants and extensions of their questionnaire have been proposed. The resulting diversity often arouses frustration and confusion in newcomers to the field who wonder which of the many measures to use. The three of us are probably typical of attachment researchers in receiving as many as five telephone calls, letters, and e-mail messages a week from researchers who want to know either "Has anything happened since 1987?" or "Which measure is the best?" In the present chapter we attempt to solve this problem by creating an all-purpose reply to future attachment researchers who wish to use self-report measures. Interview measures have also been proposed, but we will say little about them here. Attachment interviews are powerful and perhaps uniquely revealing, but they are also impractical for most researchers. (See Bartholomew & Horowitz, 1991; Bartholomew & Shaver, this volume; Main, Kaplan, & Cassidy, 1985; Scharfe & Bartholomew, 1994; and van IJzendoorn, 1995, for discussions of attachment interview measures, not all of which measure the same constructs.) Hazan and Shaver (1987, 1990) asked research participants to indicate which of three attachment-style prototypes (shown here in Table 1) best characterized their feelings and behavior in romantic relationships. ...read more.


Finally, Preoccupied individuals distinguished themselves by desiring more touch than they were receiving. All of these findings are compatible with previous research and theoretical writings on adult attachment. In terms of preferences for various sexual behaviors, interesting differences emerged among the four Bartholomew attachment categories. In general, Secures, along with Preoccupieds, were most likely to endorse romantic/affectionate sexual behaviors. Secures also differed from Fearful and Dismissing individuals in their preference for "normative" sexual behaviors. Of the four groups, Dismissing individuals were the most likely to endorse promiscuous sexual behavior. Secures were also more likely than insecures to experience positive emotions, and less likely to experience negative emotions, following sex. Fearful individuals scored highest on the negative emotions scale, followed by Preoccupied and then Dismissing individuals. Associations between the new attachment-categories, Anxiety and Avoidance, and the touch and sex subscales. Three MANOVAs, paralleling the ones just described, were computed on (1) the Anxiety and Avoidance scales, (2) the touch subscales, and (3) the sex subscales as a function of the new cluster-based attachment categories. The first MANOVA on the two higher-order scales was highly significant, as were the MANOVAs on the touch and sex subscales. All of the F values were much higher than the corresponding values based on Bartholomew's categorical self-report measure. The attachment-group means for the two higher-order scales and all of the touch and sex subscales are listed in Table 7, along with the univariate Fs. Follow-up Tukey pairwise comparisons were computed to determine which groups differed significantly. ---------------------------------------------- Insert Table 7 about here ---------------------------------------------- The findings for the univariate Avoidance, Anxiety, touch, and sex scales were similar to those obtained with Bartholomew's measure, but the F values were all substantially higher with the new scale-based clusters. (Compare corresponding sections of Tables 6 and 7--particularly the column showing variance accounted for [?2].) Also, the pairwise group differences were sharper with the new measure. ...read more.


Avoidance 2.36a 3.71c 2.68b 3.74c 151.00*** .30 Anxiety 3.08a 3.83b 4.54c 2.99a 132.12*** .27 Touch (df 3, 1051) Affectionate touch 5.79c 5.47b 5.86c 4.98a 28.49*** .08 Desire for more touch 2.45a 2.86b 3.30c 2.71b 27.21*** .07 Touch aversion 2.15a 2.66b 2.24a 2.64b 17.61*** .05 Haven of safety 4.48b 4.34b 4.96c 3.95a 23.57*** .06 Sexual preferences (df 3, 1055) Promiscuous 1.91a 2.01a 2.06a 2.58b 9.70*** .03 Normative 5.49b 5.10a 5.40ab 5.13a 5.01** .01 Affectionate 6.11c 5.86b 6.08c 5.59a 13.87*** .04 Post-coital emotions (df 3, 698) Positive 3.90a 3.35b 3.48b 3.20b 17.98*** .07 Negative .84a 1.38c 1.22bc 1.08b 15.71*** .06 _________________________________________________________________________________________ Note. Numbers in the first four columns are means. Means within each row whose superscripts differ are different at p < .05. ** p < .01, *** p < .001 (two-tailed). Table 7 Two New Attachment-Scale Scores and Touch and Sex Subscale Scores as a Function of the Cluster-Based Attachment-Style Category _____________________________________________________________________________________ Cluster-based attachment-style category Secure Fearful Preoccupied Dismissing Univariate F's ?2 New scales (df 3, 1076) Avoidance 1.88a 3.96c 2.40b 3.87c 614.67*** .63 Anxiety 2.64a 4.06b 4.60c 2.60a 604.41*** .63 Touch (df 3, 1052) Affectionate touch 6.10c 5.14b 6.05c 4.93a 104.23*** .23 Desire for more touch 2.07a 3.34c 3.16c 2.43b 101.70*** .22 Touch aversion 1.80a 2.86c 2.17b 2.78c 74.42*** .17 Haven of safety 4.67c 4.22b 5.00d 3.72a 66.95*** .06 Sexual preferences (df, 3, 1055) Promiscuous 1.60a 2.24bc 2.08b 2.49c 21.37*** .06 Normative 5.61b 4.95a 5.60b 5.05a 15.42*** .04 Affectionate 6.25b 5.75a 6.11b 5.66a 25.17*** .07 Post-coital emotions (df 3, 698) Positive 4.16c 3.08a 3.57b 3.29a 43.80*** .16 Negative .68a 1.45c 1.14b 1.18b 27.31*** .11 _____________________________________________________________________________________ Note. Numbers in the first four columns are means. Means within each row whose superscripts differ are different at p < .05. *** p < .001 (two-tailed). Table 8 Parameter Estimates for the Prediction of Touch and Sex Subscale Scores from Bartholomew's and Cluster-Based Categorical Attachment Measures, and Avoidance and Anxiety Attachment Dimensions ____________________________________________________________________________________ Bartholomew's Cluster-based Dimensional measure (?2) measure (?2) measures (R2) Touch Affectionate touch .07 .23 .32 Desire for more touch .07 .23 .30 Touch aversion .05 .18 .20 Haven of safety .06 .16 . ...read more.

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