Brennan, K. A., Clark, C. L., & Shaver, P. R. (1998). Self-report measurement of adult romantic attachment: An integrative overview. In J. A. Simpson & W. S. Rholes (Eds.), Attachment theory and close relationships (pp. 46-76). New York: Guilford Press.
For a preprint, please contact Kelly Brennan-Jones, Department of Psychology 350 New Campus Drive Brockport, NY 14420. E-mail: email@example.comSummary
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. . . We will report some of the results of a large-sample study that incorporated most of the extant self-report attachment measures, including some that are rarely referenced by attachment researchers. We began with a thorough search of the literature, including available conference papers, from which we created a pool of 482 items designed to assess 60 named attachment-related constructs. The three of us then independently evaluated the degree of redundancy among similar items, reducing them to a single exemplary item if two or three of us agreed that they were completely or almost completely redundant. (As will be seen, this still left a substantial amount of inter-item similarity.) We thus reduced the 482 items to 323, from which all 60 subscale scores could be computed. We then factor-analyzed the 60 subscale scores, producing two essentially independent factors that correspond to the already-familiar Avoidance and Anxiety dimensions. When we clustered subjects into four groups based on their scores on the two factors, the groups corresponded conceptually to Bartholomew's four types (see our Figure 3). But the relations between the clusters and other theoretically appropriate target variables proved to be stronger than the corresponding relations between Bartholomew's self-report measure and those same target variables. We also computed two internally consistent but relatively brief scales to represent the Avoidance and Anxiety factors and used those scales to predict theoretically appropriate target variables. The results were promising and suggest that self-report attachment research might benefit from the use of the two scales.
Attachment Scales and Scoring Instructions Two Higher-Order Attachment Dimensions (Avoidance and Anxiety)
Avoidance (alpha = .94)
Item #; Item-Total Correlation; Item; (R) = reverse keyed
to Self-Report Measures of Adult Attachment