An empirically derived approach to the latent structure of the adult attachment interview: Additional convergent and discriminant validity evidence

Katherine C. Haydona, Glenn I. Roismana, Michael J. Marksb, R. Chris Fraleya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Building on studies examining the latent structure of attachment-related individual differences as assessed by the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) via Principal Components Analysis, the current report further explores the validity of four AAI dimensions reported by Haydon, Roisman, and Burt (in press): dismissing states of mind, preoccupied states of mind, and inferred negative experience with maternal and paternal caregivers. Study 1 reports evidence of distinctive cognitive correlates of dismissing vs. preoccupied states of mind with reaction time in an attachment Stroop task and the valence of endorsed selfdescriptors, respectively. Study 2 replicates prior meta-analytic findings of generally trivial convergence between state of mind dimensions and self-reported avoidance and anxiety (i.e., Roisman, Holland, Fortuna, Fraley, Clausell, & Clarke, 2007). Study 3 contrastively demonstrates moderate empirical overlap between inferred experience (but not state of mind) AAI scales and self-reported avoidance and anxiety when the latter were assessed at the level of specific caregivers. Taken together, these findings add to accumulating evidence that an empirically-driven approach to scaling adults on AAI dimensions (Haydon et al., in press; Roisman, Fraley, & Belsky, 2007) aids in identifying theoretically anticipated and distinctive affective, behavioral, and cognitive correlates of dismissing versus preoccupied states of mind.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)503-524
Number of pages22
JournalAttachment and Human Development
Volume13
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2011

Keywords

  • Adult attachment interview
  • Attachment style
  • Latent structure
  • Self-report
  • Stroop

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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