Validating the Experiences in Close Relationships–Relationship Structures Scale among Chinese Children and Adolescents

Qingyao Zhang, Zhi Jin Hou, Robert Chris Fraley, Yueyue Hu, Xiu Zhang, Jingjuan Zhang, Xiaoluan Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Experiences in Close Relationships–Relationship Structures (ECR–RS) scale is designed to capture attachment among diverse relational contexts (e.g., parents, friends). Although the ECR–RS has begun to be applied to children and adolescents, its psychometric properties among children and adolescents are not well-known, especially concerning second-order structural validity, measurement invariance, and longitudinal predictive validity. To fill this gap, the current research examined the ECR–RS among 3,184 Chinese students (9- to 18-year old) using cross-sectional and longitudinal (6 months) data. The results demonstrated generally acceptable composite and test–retest reliabilities, and acceptable second-order structural validity. In addition, the measurement invariance of the ECR–RS held across time, relational contexts, and school levels to varying degrees. Furthermore, using a partial invariance model, we depicted the cross-sectional trajectory of attachment scores across relational contexts and school levels. Finally, attachment was associated concurrently with the Big-Five personality traits in theoretically meaningful ways and longitudinally predicted depression, anxiety, stress, and self-esteem after controlling for age, gender, and pretest scores. In conclusion, the Chinese ECR–RS has proven to be a valuable instrument for future research among children and adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-358
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Personality Assessment
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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