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CHAPTER 2

Development of the Attachment Styles Questionnaire1

More than six decades ago, psychoanalyst John Bowlby started his influential work on the relationship between mother and child, and in particular on the question why the mother is so important to children. This question set the stage for several years of study on the strong tie between mother and child, the so-called attachment bond, which resulted in amongst others- three books by Bowlby that would become known as the ground work of attachment theory: “Attachment and Loss” (1969/1982, 1973, 1980). During the years since Bowlby published his trilogy, research on attachment has flourished. Attachment has been studied in many fields of psychology, for example physiological, clinical, social, and developmental psychology and has been linked to a wide range of topics. Furthermore, studies on attachment have been conducted among people of every age period of life. In the last few decades, several instruments to measure attachment styles of children and adults have been proposed (see Cassidy & Shaver, 1999, for an overview). In the present study, we discuss a new instrument to measure attachment styles among adults, the Attachment Styles Questionnaire (ASQ). The ASQ is a multi-item instrument that measures attachment of adults to others in general, based on the two-dimensional framework of Bartholomew and Horowitz (1991). First, attachment theory is presented. Next, a historical overview of different approaches that serves as the theoretical background for the development of the ASQ is provided. Attachment Theory Bowlby’s attachment theory states that during the first few years of life, children develop an attachment bond with the caregivers. This attachment bond serves an evolutionary function: it keeps the child close to the caregiver in times of stress which heightens its chance of survival. Bowlby distinguishes three features of the attachment
1 This chapter is partly based on Hofstra, J., & Van Oudenhoven, J.P. (2004). Hechtingsstijlen [Attachment styles]. In A.B. Dijkstra, J. Hofstra, J.P. van Oudenhoven, J.L. Peschar & M. van der Wal, Oud gedaan, jong geleerd? Een studie naar de relaties tussen hechtingsstijlen, competenties, EVLN-intenties en sociale cohesie. Amsterdam: Aksant; and Van Oudenhoven, J.P., Hofstra, J., & Bakker, W. (2003). Ontwikkeling en evaluatie van de Hechtingsstijlvragenlijst (HSL) [Development and evaluation of the Attachment Styles Questionnaire (ASQ)]. Nederlands Tijdschrift voor de Psychologie, 58, 95-102.

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Chapter 2

bond with the caregivers (mostly the parents, and in particular the mother) which clearly describe the evolutionary benefits of attachment: proximity maintenance, secure base, and safe haven. With proximity maintenance is meant the child’s need for being close to the caregivers. A secure base is important for the exploration of the environment: the child feels safe enough to discover the world around him. A safe haven refers to knowing that there is someone you can rely on. These characteristics are closely intertwined. When the child is near the caregiver it feels safe enough to explore its environment, because it relies on the caregiver to pay attention to potential threats. In case a threatening situation does arise for instance a stranger approaches the child- the explorative behaviour of the child stops and the child seeks proximity with the caregiver. In order to get the attention of and consequently the proximity with the caregiver in times of stress, the child shows attachment behaviour such as crying or vocalizing. When sufficient proximity is reached, the attachment behaviour stops. Over time, the interactions with the caregiver -in particular the reactions of the caregiver to the proximity seeking behaviour of the child- are internalized into mental schemas or internal working models of relations (Bowlby, 1973). These internal working models contain expectations and beliefs about “whether or not the attachment figure is judged to be the sort of person who in general responds to calls for support and protection”; and, “whether or not the self is judged to be the sort of person towards whom anyone, and the attachment figure in particular, is likely to respond in a helpful way” (Bowlby, 1973, p.204). The first refers to a model of others, and the second refers to a model of self. Bowlby stated that differential internal working models of relations lead to individual differences in attachment. Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters and Wall (1978) were the first to study and to describe individual differences in attachment patterns. They distinguished three attachment patterns or styles. A secure attachment style is developed when children perceive their caregiver as available and responsive. In contrast, children develop a resistant/ambivalent or an avoidant style when they perceive their caregiver as either inconsistently responsive or unavailable and not responsive. According to Bowlby (1973), the internal working models of the self and others and consequently the attachment styles, become increasingly resistant to change. The internal working models developed in childhood continue to guide for instance future relational choices and behaviour towards others, even in totally new contexts and with different people. Therefore, it is meaningful to study attachment styles of adults, and in the last few decades research on adult attachment has indeed flourished. In the present dissertation we used the model of adult attachment of Bartholomew and Horowitz

1984. & Main. In the mid ‘80s of the past century. Researchers from this research tradition focused on attachment relations of adults outside the childcaregiver dyad. In the next sections. such as the Adult Attachment Interview (George. 1986). Two lines of research on adult attachment can be distinguished. Observational Methods to measure Infant Attachment Strange Situation The best-known studies on the classification of the different attachment patterns among infants are observational studies in the laboratory (Ainsworth et al. which both developed their own attachment instruments. Main & Solomon. 1985. This model was the first to describe four adult attachment styles. several ways of measuring the concept of attachment have been proposed. 1987. Observational methods. These studies follow the Strange Situation paradigm for studying infantparent attachment. 1995) which will be discussed later. and the Relationship Questionnaire. Interview methods. based on the two dimensions model of self (positive versus negative) and model of others (positive versus negative) of the internal working models put forward by Bowlby (1973). were developed to measure these attachment patterns of children to their caregivers.g. This paradigm has for a long time dominated the field of attachment . Measurement of Attachment Styles Through the years. we will discuss a few of the first attachment instruments developed in the two lines of attachment research. and focuses on the attachment relationship of adults with their parents.Development of the Attachment Styles Questionnaire 19 (1991). The first line of research stems from developmental and clinical psychology. (1978) and the Attachment Qsort of Waters (1987. To study attachment relations among large groups of respondents.. Bartholomew & Horowitz. The model will shortly be discussed in more detail. 1978. The second independent line of research stems from social and personality psychology. 1996) were developed to measure this type of attachment of adults. attachment research was extended to adults. Kaplan. The first studies on attachment were conducted by developmental and clinical psychologists and focused on the attachment patterns of infants. vignettes. alternatives to the lengthy and costly interview method were required. Hazan & Shaver.. 1991). and therefore several self-report instruments were developed (e. such as the Strange Situation of Ainsworth et al. which formed the basis of later developed self-report instruments.

Lastly. the parent returns and the stranger leaves. The secure-base behaviour is defined as the smooth organization of and proper balance between proximity seeking and exploration. avoidant. confusion and disorientation. in the second separation episode the parent leaves the child alone in the room. 1995) developed the Attachment Q-sort. a less intrusive observational method to measure the quality of the secure-base behaviour of infants aged between 1 and 5 years in the home environment. After a few minutes. Ainsworth et al. this is the first reunion episode. Next. 1978. The following seven episodes -which all last about three minutes-. and resistant/ambivalent. 1990) added a fourth attachment category disorganized/disoriented. levels of stress among infants (12 to 20 months old). The Strange Situation procedure is developed to examine the balance between attachment and exploratory behaviour (secure-base behaviour) under conditions of increasing. the parent and child are together in a room. are not easily comforted when reunited with the parent and show both proximity seeking and proximity avoiding behaviour. and the child is alone with the stranger. the parent returns and the stranger leaves the room. The behaviour of disorganized/disoriented children appears to lack intentions or goals. Therefore. First. it is an intrusive and stressful method for the child. show minimal signs of distress when separated from the parent and they actively avoid and seek distance from the parent in the reunion episodes. as almost 15% of the children were not classifiable into the original three categories. Avoidant children readily explore the environment. are very distressed during separation from the parent.. Main and Solomon (1986. ambivalent children do not engage in exploration behaviour. Attachment Q-sort Disadvantages of research with the Strange Situation procedure are that it takes place in a laboratory setting. such as for instance incomplete or interrupted movement and freezing. The first separation episode follows: the parent leaves the room. the child explores the new surroundings.20 Chapter 2 research. make up the Strange Situation procedure. though moderate. the stranger enters the room again. Then. Finally. it shows direct indications of fear. and it is only designed for children between 12 and 20 months. they miss the parent during separation and seek contact with and proximity to the parent when reunited. a stranger enters the room. To operationalize this secure- . identified three types of attachment: secure. Trained observers classify the child in a certain attachment category based on the behaviour of the child to the parent in especially the two reunion episodes (see Ainsworth et al. for a detailed description of the classification procedure). Subsequently. in the second reunion episode. (1978). Waters (1987. Secure children confidently explore the environment when entering the room.

the Q-sort of the observed child is compared with a criterion sort (a description of a protypically secure child. The interviews are audio taped and later transcribed verbatim. Dismissing individuals tend to minimize the discussion about attachment-related experiences.g. present state of mind regarding attachment-related experiences (e. Items in the first pile (most descriptive) are assigned a score of 9. Trained coders rate the transcript of the interview on various scales. Adult attachment classifications are primarily based on the scales coherence of the discourse when speaking about emotion-laden attachment-relevant experiences and collaboration with the interviewer (Hesse. Next. loving mother. they devalue attachment relations and they tend to give a positive impression about the caregiver. to least descriptive of the observed child. People are classified as secure/autonomous if they cooperate with the interviewer in coherently speaking about early attachment experiences and if they clearly value attachment relations.Development of the Attachment Styles Questionnaire 21 base behaviour of children. usually in the form of a Pearson correlation. regardless of the nature (positive or negative) of that relationship. Interview Method to measure Adult Attachment The Adult Attachment Interview (AAI. George.). People are classified as preoccupied if they are incoherent in their stories. concerning childhood experience (e. rejecting mother etc. tend to maximize the attention to attachment-related issues. the current relationship with the parents.) and coherence of discourse and collaboration during the interview. ninety items were developed which describe different types of attachment behaviours (a sample item is: “When child is bored. 1999). and traumatic losses or experiences. idealization. 1984. the current state of mind regarding the influence of the experiences with the parents on the adults’ personality. In the end. Kaplan. developed trough the input of many experts on attachment). 1985. he goes to mother looking for something to do”). Trained observers or the parents sort the items into one of nine piles. this correlation reflects the degree of congruence between the individual and the criterion sort. lack of memory etc. hour-long protocol and consists of 18 questions which focus on the relationship of adults with their parents during childhood. It was assumed that this state of mind of the parent affected their parenting behaviour and subsequently the attachment patterns of the parents’ children.g. and seem to be . So. but later discussion about experiences with the caregiver contradict this positive image. 1996) was originally developed to predict the child’s attachment type from the parents’ state of mind regarding the own attachment history. items in the second pile receive a score of 8 and so on. The AAI is a semi-structured. each pile eventually consists of ten items. & Main. ranging from most descriptive of the observed child.

22 Chapter 2 enmeshed in earlier attachment relations. due to the overlapping negative model of others. avoidant. information about the individual difference variability which exists within each category cannot be obtained. unresolved/disorganized individuals have substantial lapses in their discourse when discussing potentially traumatic events.’s (1978) description of attachment patterns of children. Finally. Therefore. the determination of the attachment style of a person using only one item is assailable and does not allow to establish the internal reliability of the instrument.g. it is possible that people can score high on for instance avoidant and anxious/ambivalent attachment. which correspond to the secure. The method passes over all sorts of intermediate forms of attachment. preoccupied or unresolved/disorganized tended to have children who respectively showed secure. or vignettes. avoidant and anxious/ambivalent types (or: styles. dismissing. However. 1995. The measure consists of three typedescriptions. 1990) in the Strange Situation (see e. resistant/ambivalent (Ainsworth et al. respondents have to indicate which of the vignettes describes their feelings in a romantic relationship best. A disadvantage of this forced-choice method of Hazan and Shaver (1987) is that it implies that people can have only one attachment style. They argued that romantic love could be conceptualized as an attachment process (a process of becoming attached). also for this . After reading the vignettes. 1978) and disorganized attachment behaviour (Main & Solomon. for a review). as social psychologists usually call them). Self-Report Instruments to measure Adult Attachment Vignettes The social psychologists Hazan and Shaver (1987) were the first to apply attachment theory to the study of adult relationships outside the infant-caregiver relationship. experienced in different ways by different people because of the variations in attachment histories. Several studies have shown that the parents’ classification using the AAI was associated with their infants’ attachment classification using the Strange Situation procedure. Furthermore. the extent to which a certain attachment category characterizes a person cannot be established using this instrument. Parents who were classified as secure. and have not resolved the feelings associated with these traumatic events. To our opinion. Levy and Davis (1988) asked their respondents to indicate to what degree the three vignettes by Hazan and Shaver (1987) applied to them. 1986.. As a consequence. Hazan and Shaver (1987) developed a single-item measure of attachment by translating Ainsworth et al. Besides. Van IJzendoorn.

as only one item was used per attachment style. Bartholomew suggested to distinguish two distinct forms of avoidant attachment: dismissing-avoidant. but they refrain from personal contacts with others. Besides. . according to Bartholomew (1990). and disorganized style.Development of the Attachment Styles Questionnaire 23 measure the reliability cannot be calculated. They anxiously seek acceptance and validation from others. 1990. However. So. 2 Main and Solomon (1986. the avoidant attachment category of Hazan and Shaver’s measure is characterized by fear of being rejected when others come too close. and fearful-avoidant. 1996) also distinguished four attachment styles: the secure. model of self and model of others result in the following attachment styles. Kaplan and Main (1984. interactions with others are faced with confidence. The secure style: people with this style have a positive model of the self and do not doubt others. the disorganized style has no match in the self-report instruments. based on Bowlby’s (1973) internal working models of relations (see Figure 2. she showed that the four attachment styles can be placed in a two-dimensional scheme. They avoid personal contacts out of fear of being hurt or deceived. The dismissing attachment category in the AAI is characterized by the denial of attachment needs and striving for self-sufficiency. 1991) compared the three attachment types defined by the Adult Attachment Interview and the vignettes of Hazan and Shaver (1987) and concluded that the two methods differed in their description of the avoidant type (or dismissing type as it is called in the AAI). Combinations of the two dimensions. avoidant or dismissing. Relationship Questionnaire Bartholomew (Bartholomew. resistant/ambivalent or preoccupied. four attachment styles exist2. The preoccupied style: preoccupied individuals strive for personal contact with others. 1985. The fearful style: people with this style doubt themselves as well as others.1). 1990) and George. Dismissing people strive for independence of others. but they have a negative image of the self. Bartholomew & Horowitz. The dismissing style: dismissing people are secure about themselves.

such as relationships with peers. the Relationship Questionnaire (Bartholomew & Horowitz. but I often find that others are reluctant to get as close as I would like. Figure 2. I want emotionally close relationships. Respondents have to indicate on a 7-point scale to which extent each description applies to their feelings and behaviour in close relations. Model of Self Positive Model of Others Positive Negative Secure Dismissing Negative Preoccupied Fearful To measure Bartholomew’s four attachment styles. I sometimes worry that I will be hurt if I allow myself to become too close to others. Secure It is relatively easy for me to become emotionally close to others. but I sometimes worry that others don't value me as much as I value them. Dismissing I am comfortable without close emotional relationships. I am comfortable depending on others and having others depend on me. but I find it difficult to trust others completely. However. It consists of four short descriptions of the four attachment styles (see Figure 2. Bartholomew & Horowitz. 1991). 1991) was developed.2). I am uncomfortable being without close relationships. or to depend on them. I don't worry about being alone or having others not accept me. This self-report instrument is an adaptation of Hazan and Shaver’s (1987) measure.24 Chapter 2 Figure 2. 1991). Preoccupied I want to be completely emotionally intimate with others.1 Two-dimensional Model of Adult Attachment (Bartholomew. 1990. It is very important to me to feel independent and self-sufficient and I prefer not to depend on others or have others depend on me. Fearful I am somewhat uncomfortable getting close to others.2 Descriptions of Attachment Styles as used in the Relationship Questionnaire (Bartholomew & Horowitz. this kind of measurement still has the shortcoming that the internal reliability of the scales cannot be determined because of the use of only one item. .

A multiple-item questionnaire that is based on the descriptions of the Relationship Questionnaire of Bartholomew and Horowitz (1991). followed by a description of the psychometric properties of the latest version of the ASQ. Therefore. the Attachment Styles Questionnaire (ASQ).80 for the fearful scale. r = .57 years) in which a 17-item version of the ASQ was used. the secure and ­to a lesser extent­ the dismissing style were positively related to .62 for the fearful style. and r = . In the next section. we wanted to measure adult attachment to others in general. stability coefficients of r = .55 for the secure style. based on the theoretical model of Bartholomew (1990) and consequently on the RSQ of Griffin and Bartholomew (1994). to measure the four adult attachment styles. using multiple items based on Bartholomew and Horowitz’(1991) model. the RSQ suffers from low internal reliability of the scale for secure attachment (α = . As expected. several researchers broke the type descriptions into several phrases that could be scored as items on a Likertscale. A sample item is: “It is very important to me to feel self-sufficient”. Among a subgroup of the students who filled in the questionnaire for the second time after nine months (n = 133). we aimed to develop a new reliable instrument. ranging from α = . r = . For instance.70 for the dismissing style. The Relationship Scales Questionnaire (RSQ) of Griffin and Bartholomew (1994) would be the obvious instrument to use for that purpose.73 for the preoccupied style were found.Development of the Attachment Styles Questionnaire 25 To overcome the above-mentioned difficulties of categorizing respondents into mutually exclusive attachment categories (as is the case with the instrument of Hazan and Shaver. Attachment Styles Questionnaire In the present dissertation. Simpson (1990) and Collins and Read (1990) developed multiple-item questionnaires based on Hazan and Shaver’s vignettes. However.41). is the Relationship Scales Questionnaire of Griffin and Bartholomew (1994). preliminary studies on earlier versions of the ASQ are discussed. 1987) and not being able to calculate the internal reliability of the attachment scales (as is the case with Bartholomew and Horowitz’ instrument). The subscales had reasonable to high internal consistencies. Earlier Versions of the Attachment Styles Questionnaire In a preliminary study among 366 psychology students (76% female. Schrier and Van Oudenhoven (2001) found four factors which clearly corresponded with the four attachment styles.64 for the dismissing scale to α = . mean age 20.

the items had to meet three criteria. The mean age was 21 years. Pearson’s correlations between . a positive relation between the secure and preoccupied style and indicators of model of others can be expected. We added nine new items to the previous 26-item version of the ASQ.45) on the corresponding factor. and Australia. the relations between the attachment styles and indicators of model of others were examined. In a second study among three groups of students and a group of Dutch emigrants. the items had to have face validity. . Second. Third. we first studied the relations between the attachment styles and indicators of model of self. First. Based on Bartholomew and Horowitz’ (1991) model of attachment styles (see Figure 2. The fearful and dismissing style are expected to be negatively related to indicators of model of others. The results of this study showed comparable internal consistencies (α’ s ranging from . so we started with an initial pool of 35 items.1). stability coefficients (which were measured among one of the groups of students. the stability. Second. and a negative relation between fearful and preoccupied attachment and indicators of model of self. In order to be selected for the final version of the ASQ.62 to . Hofstra. and the convergent construct validity (the relation between the attachment styles and some important constructs). Latest Version of the Attachment Styles Questionnaire In the present chapter we further developed the ASQ. self-esteem.69) and pattern of relations between the attachment scales and self-esteem.1) one can expect a positive relationship between the secure and dismissing style on the hand.26 Chapter 2 an indicator of model of self. The mean age was 61 years. we chose 24 items based on the results of a factor analysis (see Table 2. and indicators of model of self on the other. Eventually. & Bakker. With respect to the construct validity. slightly adjusted versions of the ASQ.85). consisting of 24 or 26 items were tested (Van Oudenhoven. the items had to have a high loading (> . 2003). we discuss the psychometric qualities of this latest version of the ASQ. that is the content of the items had to reflect the attachment style which they aimed to measure.56 and . Among the group of Dutch emigrants (N = 1011) 44% was female. that is the internal structure (factor structure and reliability). the items had to contribute to the internal reliability of the corresponding scale. According to the model of Bartholomew and Horowitz. Of the three groups of students (N= 790) almost 75% was female. Next. whereas the preoccupied and fearful style were negatively related to this indicator. the United States of America. The majority of the emigrants migrated to Canada.

Interactions with others are faced with confidence. people using voice take the interests of both parties into account. In the literature. Farrell & Rusbult. In addition. we expect the insecure styles to be negatively related to the intention to use voice. we expected relations between the attachment styles and indicators of social competencies. As attachment styles form the basis for effective social competencies (Waters & Sroufe. loyalty and neglect in frustrating . The RQ consists of four short paragraphs. one might expect a connection between attachment styles and the reactions to frustrating situations. After reading the descriptions. only take their own interests into account. It is an active reaction because an individual using voice is doing something about the relationship. 1983). people using loyalty primarily focus on the interests of the other party. voice is defined as an active and constructive reaction to conflicting interests and values in interpersonal relationships (e. & Gunn. 1970. Farrell & Rusbult. In addition to relations with indicators of model of self and model of others and the RQ. the Relationship Questionnaire (RQ. People using exit when having a problem with someone. the respondents are asked to indicate to what extent the description fits their feelings in close relations. Zembrodt. The construct validity of the ASQ is satisfactory when the attachment scales assessed by the ASQ correlate highest with the corresponding descriptions of the RQ. we studied the relations between the attachment scales of the ASQ with the scales of an other attachment measure. a positive relation between secure attachment and the intention to use voice in a frustrating situation is expected. 1992. 1991).g. Individuals who react with voice in frustrating situations try to solve the problem by taking the interests of both themselves and the other party into account. Loyalty and Neglect intentions [EVLN].Development of the Attachment Styles Questionnaire 27 Furthermore. Secure attachment is also considered as a constructive way of relating to others. ways of dealing with frustrating situations (or Exit. and people using neglect neither consider the own interests nor the interests of the other party. it is a constructive reaction because it is intended to maintain or revive the relationship. as it is characterized by a positive image of the self and of others. Bartholomew & Horowitz. In contrast. Therefore. each describing one of the four attachment styles (see Figure 2). it is plausible that the secure attachment style is positively related to voice. For instance. 1992). Like attachment styles. and positively to the intention to use exit. Rusbult. these EVLN-intentions can roughly be described along the dimensions model of self or orientation towards the self and model of others or orientation towards others. 1982). we expect negative relations between the secure attachment style and the less constructive and more passive ways of dealing with frustrating situations (exit. Hirschman. and neglect). loyalty. Voice.

This last trait is also referred to as autonomy (Hendriks. emotional stability refers to the tendency to remain calm in stressful situations. This model distinguishes five robust personality traits which are believed to form the basic structure of personality. Therefore. we explored the relations between attachment styles and the Big Five personality traits. as the fearful attachment style is characterized by a negative image of the self and a negative image of others. For instance. people scoring high on secure attachment feel comfortable in social contacts as they are self-confident and perceive others as trustworthy and reliable. and therefore will be more socially outgoing or extraverted. For instance. 1996). . 1990. On average. Intellect refers to the tendency to be creative. it is plausible that they will score higher on neuroticism (or lower on emotional stability). fearfully. preoccupied and dismissingly attached individuals. John. we studied how the attachment styles as measured with the ASQ relate to the Big Five traits. Goldberg. they seek acceptance and validation of others. conscientiousness refers to the tendency of being organized. We expected to replicate the conclusions of the review study by Noftle and Shaver (2006). also because the correlations found between the Big Five traits and the attachment styles in the studies seem to fit the image of securely. Shaver and Brennan (1992) were the first to study the relations between attachment styles and the Big Five traits and since then. agreeableness. which is characteristic of fearful and preoccupied attachment. People scoring high on preoccupied attachment have a negative image of the self and a positive image others. it appeared that secure attachment was consistently positively related to extraversion. Digman.g. emotional stability and conscientiousness. many other researchers followed. The Big Five model is a well known empirically-based framework describing major individual differences in personality (see e. perceptive and to be independent of others. dependable. 1993). one might expect that people scoring high on fearful attachment have the intention to choose neglect as this intention is characterized by not standing up for the own interests nor for the interests of others in conflicting situations. As a final way to determine the construct validity of the ASQ. was on average strongly negatively related to emotional stability. Noftle and Shaver (2006) reviewed 11 studies using different methods of measurement of the attachment styles and the Big Five traits. A high score on negative model of self. agreeableness refers to the tendency to be kind. Finally. trusting and trustworthy. Extraversion refers to the tendency to be outgoing. assertive and active. 1990.28 Chapter 2 situations. dismissing attachment was consistently negatively related to extraversion and agreeableness. In the present chapter. perseverant and achievement-oriented.

First. 74% female. Two items were mirrored. 26% male.88 (SD = 14. ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). Students of psychology (n = 1960). All attachment items were measured on a 5-point scale.07). The scale for fearful attachment consisted of five items. A group of Dutch emigrants mainly to Canada. Scores on the scales were computed by summing up the scores on the items and dividing the sum score by the number of items of the scale.Development of the Attachment Styles Questionnaire 29 Method Respondents The psychometric qualities of the ASQ were examined among three groups of Dutch respondents (in total N = 3533): 1. 55% female. The adults were approached by the researchers and a few research assistants. The group of students is a combination of seven subsamples of students which are described in more detail in Appendix 1. 6 and 7 of the students and subgroups 10 and 13 of the adults. In order to determine the construct validity of the scale. the dismissing scale contained five items. Australia and the United States of America (n = 563). & Van der Zee (2004) for a more detailed description of the sample. The internal consistencies of the scale will be discussed shortly. Finally. such as: “I have the impression that usually I like others better than they like me”. such as “I find it easy to get engaged in close relationships with other people”.82 for subgroups 1. we measured model of self with Rosenberg’s (1965) 10-item Self-Esteem Inventory (Cronbach’s α was . These items refer to attachment to others in general. a number of related constructs were included.10). mean age was 20. mean age was 59. The items were formulated based on the four vignettes as described by Bartholomew and Horowitz (1991) and the Relationship Scales Questionnaire by Griffin and Bartholomew (1993). a sample item is: “I feel uncomfortable when relationships with other people become close”. Van Oudenhoven. Adults (n = 1010). A sample item is: “I think .78 (SD = 13. 46% female.67). The secure style was measured by seven items. mean age was 48.55 (SD = 4. The group of adults is a combination of six subsamples of adults (see Appendix 1). Instruments Attachment styles were measured with 24 items (see Table 2. see Appendix 1).1). such as: “I prefer that others are independent of me. 2. and that I am independent of others”. See Bakker. The preoccupied style was measured by seven items. 3.

As a second way to measure model of self.75 and . a scale consisting of seven items (α = . After reading the descriptions. respondents had to indicate on a 7-point scale the degree to which they resemble each of the four styles. 1991) was included (among subgroup 10 of the adults). I become suspicious” (-). Hirschman. Moreover. Third. A sample item is: “If somebody is friendly towards me. A sample item of the five items of the scale measuring voice (α = . 1992. voice.79 for subgroup 1 of the students and subgroups 8 and 9 of the adults respectively) was measured with four items such as: “I do not associate with that person anymore”.76 for subgroup 1 of the students) a sample item is “I like doing things with other people”. ranging from 1 (never) to 5 (always) for each item to what extent they would react in such a way when faced with a problem with someone. we measured ways of dealing with frustrating events or EVLN-intentions: exit. a sample item of the neglect scale consisting of five items (α = . The internal reliability of this scale was .74 and . ranging from 1 (not true. The answers were scored on a 5-point scale. loyalty and neglect (Farrell & Rusbult. the Relationship Questionnaire (RQ. that’s the way I am). Peschar. Answers could be given on a 5-point scale. The RQ consists of four short paragraphs. A 5-point scale was used. Hofstra. 1998.85 and . Van Oudenhoven. These intentions were measured using a self-constructed questionnaire which consisted of 19 items.66 and . This measure is an adaptation of the attachment instrument developed by Hazan and Shaver (1987). Second. we measured model of others using six self-constructed items reflecting image of others (α = . that’s not the way I am) to 5 (true.68 for subgroup 1 of the students .81 for subgroup 1 of the students and subgroups 8 and 9 of the adults respectively) contained five items like: “Then. I believe that eventually everything will work out just fine”. Bartholomew & Horowitz. Fourth.75 for subgroup 1 of the students and subgroups 8 and 9 of the adults respectively) is: “Together with the other party I think of a solution which is acceptable for both of us”. see Appendix 1). A sample item is: “I am happy about the way I live my life”. 1970).2).73 for subgroup 9 of the adults) reflecting trust in others which had proven to be a reliable instrument (see Dijkstra. The scale measuring loyalty (α = . ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). 2004) was used. Participants were asked to indicate the level of agreement with the items on a 5-point scale. ranging from 1 (NO! Not applicable to me) to 5 (YES! Totally applicable to me). Hagedoorn. Finally. ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). describing the four attachment styles (see Figure 2. & Van der Wal. a 6-item scale was used from the Adult SelfPerception Profile developed by Harter (1988).80 (for subgroup 9 of the adults.30 Chapter 2 positively about myself”. Exit (α = . Respondents were asked to indicate on a 5-point scale.

we measured the Big Five personality traits using the Five Factor Personality Inventory (Hendriks.86 for subgroups 1 and 11. 1999) which contains 20 items per scale. .61 for subgroup 14.65 for subgroup 14 respectively) contained items like: “Does things according to a plan” and “Is well prepared”.82 and . and . Extraversion (α = . Participants were asked to indicate on a 5-point scale ranging from 1 (not applicable at all) to 5 (totally applicable) whether the items were applicable to them. the autonomy scale (α = . respectively) was measured by items such as: “Avoids company” (-) and “Likes to chat”. Sample items of the agreeableness scale (α = .Development of the Attachment Styles Questionnaire 31 and subgroups 8 and 9 of the adults respectively) is: “Then.79 for subgroups 1 and 11.87 and .1 for the items and the factor loadings).27% of the variance. As can be seen from the table.76 for subgroups 1 and 11.87 and . and . I do not care that much anymore”. The scale measuring conscientiousness (α = . Finally.2 the results with regard to the internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha) of the four scales for the different groups of respondents are presented.88 and .81 and .86 for subgroup 4 of the students and subgroup 11 of the adults. the emigrants. The attachment scales reached the minimum reliability level of .60 set by Nunnally (1978). & De Raad. Finally. which clearly corresponded with the four attachment styles (see Table 2.62 for subgroup 14 respectively) was measured by items such as: “Readily overcomes setbacks” and “Panics” (-). and . In general. and . Reliability In Table 2.2. except for the dismissing scale in the emigrant group. The four factors explained 49. Results Internal Structure Factor Structure of the Scales Exploratory factor-analysis (oblimin principal components analysis) with a forced 4-factor solution showed four factors with Eigen­values above 1. Emotional stability (α = . The items of the four attachment scales completely correspond with the items as mentioned in Table 2.56 for subgroup 14 respectively) are: “Takes others’ interests into account” and “Empathizes with others”. Hofstee.63 for subgroup 14 respectively) consisted of items like: “Can easily link facts together” and “Takes the lead”. all items had reasonably high factor loadings.75 for subgroups 1 and 11. and a shortened version of this questionnaire which contains six items per scale.1. we can conclude that the .

2. These coefficients are slightly higher than the ones that were found among the groups of students from the studies mentioned in the introduction section of this chapter.59 to . and the preoccupied and dismissing style.32 Chapter 2 internal consistencies of the attachment scales are satisfying. The intercorrelations support Bartholomew and Horowitz’ model: opposing styles in the model the secure and fearful style. The inter-scale correlations between adjacent styles in the model are in line with other research on attachment styles (e. The scales are not orthogonal. The lower stability of the attachment styles among students is understandable considering the phase of life of students: going to college and the transition from childhood to adulthood brings about many changes and insecurities. The stability coefficients ranged from . . last column). We calculated the stability coefficients of the attachment scales using Pearson correlations (see Table 2. Tsagarakis. our findings that the stability of the attachment styles is higher for adults than for students is in line with previous research by for instance Bowlby (1973) and Caspi (1998) who stated that the stability of personality characteristics increases with the age of the respondents. Stability A group of adults (n = 175) completed the ASQ twice with a one year interval. 2007.76. Kafetsios & Stalikas.were negatively correlated.3 shows the scale inter-correlations of the attachment scales. 3 The instrument used to measure the stability of the preoccupied scale was based on six of the seven items which we identified as items for the preoccupied style in the present chapter. 2006). Table 2.g. Moreover. Holmes & Lyons-Ruth. so we were able to calculate the stability of the attachment styles3.

60 -. I feel uncomfortable when relationships with other people become close. I am wary to get engaged in close relationships because I’m afraid to get hurt. Secure attachment style I feel at ease in emotional relationships.69 . I’m afraid that my hopes will be deceived when I get too closely related to others. .62 when this item is included.1 Items of the Attachment Styles Questionnaire and their Factor Loadings on the corresponding Factors. I find it easy to get engaged in close relationships with other people. but I feel I can’t trust other people.48 . I find it important to know whether other people like me. It is important to me to be independent.72 .68 . 4 This item had comparable factor loadings on the dismissing (.53 .75 to .64 .77 .49) and the secure attachment style (.58 . I like to be self-sufficient.74 . Dismissing attachment style I feel comfortable without having close relationships with other people4. I avoid close ties.58 .80 . I think it is important that people can rely on each other.63 . I don’t worry whether people like me or not. Preoccupied attachment style I often wonder whether people like me.82 . I prefer that others are independent of me.59 . and that I am independent of others.62 .Development of the Attachment Styles Questionnaire 33 Table 2. I feel at ease in intimate relationships.73 .56 .58 to . I usually find other people more interesting than myself.49 . I would like to have close relationships with other people. I fear to be left alone.53). We decided to place this item in the scale for dismissing attachment based on the face validity (this item reflects the dismissing style more than the secure style) and the contribution to the internal consistency (α of the dismissing scale rises from . I am often afraid that other people don’t like me.77 when this item is included).65 . I have the impression that usually I like others better than they like me.57 Fearful attachment style I would like to be open to others.60 -. I trust other people and I like it when other people can rely on me.68 . I don’t worry about being alone: I don’t need other people that strongly. I trust that others will be there for me when I need them. but I find it difficult to fully trust them. .78 . α of the secure style rises with .

Among both groups. .59 . and the fearful style was negatively related to self-esteem/selfperception and image of others/trust in others.68 Construct Validity Attachment Styles and Indicators of Model of Self and Model of Others To determine the construct validity.34 Chapter 2 Table 2.60 .77 .4).73 . Attachment Scales Secure Fearful Dismissing Preoccupied Students (n=1960) .75 .80 Emigrants (n=563) .68 .79 .78 . we first examined the relations between the attachment styles on the one hand and indicators of model of self and model of others on the other hand among students and adults (see Table 2. The secure attachment style correlated positively with self-esteem/self-perception.69 .75 .2 Internal Consistencies and Stability of the Attachment Styles Questionnaire. the relations were largely in line with Bartholomew and Horowitz’ (1991) model. and image of others/trust in others.81 .62 .80 Stability (n=175) .59 .76 .73 Total group (N=3533) .61 .81 Adults (n=1010) .

--.22*** --. However.16*** -1. Probably. Fearful 3. rather than distrust based on presumed bad intentions of others. this distrust in others of preoccupied individuals reflects distrust based on a negative image of the self. Preoccupied Adults (n = 1010) 1. Dismissing 4. ***p < . preoccupied attachment was.26*** . As expected.02 ---. Preoccupied Note. 2. Secure 2. as expected.37*** --. Dismissing 4.Development of the Attachment Styles Questionnaire 35 Table 2. For instance. as they can hardly believe that the others sincerely want contact with them.22*** . negatively related to self-esteem/self-perception. preoccupied attachment correlated negatively with trust in others. preoccupied attached individuals might not trust others during social contacts. 3. Attachment scale Students (n = 1960) 1. Dismissing 4.19*** --.001.12*** ---.31*** --. Secure 2. **p < .42*** -. Different from what Bartholomew and Horowitz’ (1991) model predicts. Fearful 3.42*** -.19*** .01. Fearful 3.59*** .50*** --. no meaningful relationship was found between dismissing attachment and selfesteem/self-perception.26*** .12** . 4. Secure 2. the dismissing style correlated negatively with image of others.19*** . Preoccupied Emigrants (n = 563) 1. . Finally.57*** --.3 Correlations between the Four Attachment Styles.

51*** Self-perception (Harter) Adults (n = 175) Students (n = 379) Adults (n = 175) Model of Others Image of others Trust in others Note.43*** -.36 Chapter 2 Table 2. Self-Esteem/Self-Perception.27*** -. Adults (n = 516) Secure Students Adults Fearful Students Adults Dismissing Students Adults Preoccupied Students Adults -. * p < . ***p < .22** .001.30*** .35*** -. Model of Self Self-esteem (Rosenberg) Students (n = 658).42*** -.26*** .29*** . .01 -. and Image of Others/Trust in Others.4 Correlations between Attachment Styles.55*** .01.49*** -.57*** -.04 -.14 -.01 -. ** p < .08* .29*** -.05.50*** .27*** -.

** p < . Besides. the secure style correlated positively with voice. However. 1991). For the insecure attachment styles.49*** -. ***p < .33*** Vignette Fearful -.01. the constructive reaction to conflicts.27*** Vignette Dismissing -.5. As we expected. and neglect.16** -. .6).28*** . the correlations are moderate and the differences between correlations are not impressive.34*** Note.21*** .07 . However. As can be seen from Table 2. The pattern of relations between the variables was the same for both groups.34*** -.001. dismissing and preoccupied styles correlated negatively with voice and positively with the less constructive reactions. the Relationship Questionnaire (RQ. loyalty. In line with our expectations.28*** . Bartholomew & Horowitz. the attachment scales of the ASQ correlated highest with the corresponding vignette of the RQ. This can be the result of the low reliability of the RQ. Vignette Secure ASQ-Secure ASQ-Fearful ASQ-Dismissing ASQ-Preoccupied .5 Correlations between the Scales of the Attachment Styles Questionnaire and the Scores on the Vignettes of the Relationship Questionnaire (Bartholomew & Horowitz. the relations between the attachment styles and the different ways of reacting to frustrating situations were calculated among students and adults (Table 2.31*** .10 .14** Vignette Preoccupied . the relation between these insecure styles and loyalty is weak or not significant.07 . the fearful. Attachment Styles and Reactions to Frustrating Situations Next.32*** -. Table 2.23*** -. the pattern is reversed. were calculated among a group of 461 adults.Development of the Attachment Styles Questionnaire 37 Attachment Styles and Relationship Questionnaire To further establish the validity of the four attachment scales of the ASQ. 1991) among 461 Adults. The relations between the dismissing style and the reactions to conflicts are inconsistent and therefore difficult to interpret. secure attachment was negatively related to the less constructive reactions exit. correlations between these scales and another instrument to measure attachment styles.

04 . and to a lesser extent with autonomy and extraversion. In all three samples.31*** -. The dismissing style is negatively associated with extraversion. * p < .23*** -. as we expected.01. adults and emigrants (see Table 2.20** -.18** .08 .10 . Attachment Styles and the Big Five Personality Traits As a final way of determining the construct validity of the ASQ we related the attachment styles to the Big Five personality traits among students.19*** -.7).25*** .10 .01 .38 Chapter 2 Table 2.18* .32*** -. as predicted. .14* -. The fearful style is negatively related to extraversion. and to lesser extent negatively to emotional stability and autonomy.20** .10* . ** p < .08 .23*** .19*** -. Finally. ***p < .25*** Voice Loyalty Neglect Note.19*** -.01 -.10 -.37*** -.17* -.29*** . Exit Secure Students Adults Fearful Students Adults Dismissing Students Adults Preoccupied Students Adults .26*** . the preoccupied attachment style is primarily negatively correlated with emotional stability.16* . the secure style correlated positively with extraversion.15** .11* .05. Our results are largely in line with the review study of Noftle and Shaver (2006).29*** . and to a lesser extent positively with agreeableness and autonomy.001.24*** .6 Correlations between Attachment Styles and Reactions to Frustrating Situations among 379 Students and 218 Adults.

17** -. and emigrants) was entered in the analysis as an independent variable.27*** . adults.18** -. Group (students.17** .7 Correlations between the Four Attachment Styles and the Big Five Traits among Students (n = 450).04 -.18** .33*** -.13* . As the three groups differed with respect to mean age (M = 20.18 . see Table 2.78 and M = 59.42*** . . in which we controlled for the effect of age by entering it as a covariate.03 -.04 .10* .28** -.37*** -.33*** -. a significant main effect was found for age. for students.37*** -.17 .07 -. * p < .46*** -. M = 48.03 .04 .19* -.12* Agreeableness Conscientiousness Emotional Stability Autonomy Note.07 .17** .13* -.41*** .23* .04 -.28*** -.88.20*** .36*** -. Extraversion Secure Students Adults Emigrants Fearful Students Adults Emigrants Dismissing Students Adults Emigrants Preoccupied Students Adults Emigrants -. At the multivariate level.10 -.24*** -.09 .05.08 -.30** -.55.03 -.39*** . adults and emigrants.41*** .8).34*** -. ** p < .09 .22* .001.14* -.04 -.02 -. adults and emigrants.18** .19* -. Group Differences in the Attachment Styles Next.46*** -.01 -.22*** -.02 .04 -. *** p < .40*** .20* -.14 .Development of the Attachment Styles Questionnaire 39 Table 2.22*** . respectively) we performed a MANCOVA. and the four attachment styles as dependent variables.01. Adults (n = 133) and Emigrants (n = 563). we were interested in whether the mean scores on attachment styles differed by group (students.32*** -.15** -.

74. Further tests revealed that women scored higher than men on secure and preoccupied attachment. this effect could be attributed to the secure attachment style. η2 =.8 Mean Scores on the Four Attachment Styles for the Three Groups controlled for the Effect of Age.001. p <.97a 2.001).00.02. p <. 2862) = 15. Scales Secure Fearful Dismissing Preoccupied Students (n = 1960) 4. p < . Cell means with different subscripts (per row) differ significantly (p <. emigrants scored higher on dismissing attachment than students and adults (p < . 3238) = 39. p <. In addition. F (8. η2 =. In addition to studying the differences in means on attachment styles for the three groups.03. we also found a significant main effect for group.01 for the secure style. 5720) = 18. η2 = .23a 2.01 for the preoccupied style. A MANOVA in which gender was entered as the independent variable and the attachment styles as the dependent variables. we were also interested in whether the means on attachment styles differed for males and females (see Table 2. η2 =. F (2. η2 = .001. the effect of group on the means on the attachment styles was significant. 2862) = 15.67b Note.001). Next.84b 2. and F (2. This effect could be attributed to the secure.01. F (4. F (1.001. p < .15a 2. η2 = . p <. F (1. and lower than men on dismissing attachment (all p ´s < .28b 3.36. F (1. 3238) = 19. η2 = .01 for the dismissing style.001. F (2.001. p < . dismissing and preoccupied attachment style.90. 2862) = 80. Further analysis showed that students and emigrants scored significantly higher on secure attachment than adults (p’s < . F (1. p <. F (2.001.001. students scored higher on fearful and preoccupied attachment than adults and emigrants (p’s < . p < . 3238) = 17.50a 3.01). and the dismissing style. this effect could be attributed to all four attachment styles. 2862) = 15.19. F (1. η2 =.001.93. after controlling for the effect of age.001. η2 = .43. Univariately.03. 2862) = 21. Moreover. showed a significant main effect for gender.35b 2.48.00a 2. . 2859) = 33.001.02.04. p <.08.73. So.45. p <. η2 =.01).01.01. Univariately.93a Adults (n =1010) 3. p <. η2 = . the fearful style.33. p <. η2 = .01).001.27b 3. F (1.9). 2862) = 58. respectively.01 for the fearful style. Table 2.001.001. 3235) = 19.01.40 Chapter 2 F (4. η2 =.36.65b Emigrants (n =563) 3. 2862) = 10.

which could account for its lower internal consistency.80 (Hendriks. The reliability of the secure. However.83b (.68) Note. One can be dismissing because one does not need others that strongly.56) 2. the stability of the attachment styles is lower than the stability of basic personality traits.66b (. Females (n = 2263) Secure Fearful Dismissing Preoccupied 4. which is in general about .59.57) 2. despite the moderate internal consistency of the scale.81) 3. Discussion The present research aimed to study the psychometric qualities of a new instrument to measure adult attachment styles. Hofstee.62). fearful and preoccupied scales is reasonable to good. whereas the fearful and preoccupied style correlated negatively with these variables. or one finds it handy to be self-sufficient. The development of the instrument seems to be -on the whole.successful.9 Mean Scores on the Four Attachment Styles for Females and Males with Standard Deviations between Brackets. The items of the dismissing scale referred to the different motives.00a (.001). We found one weakly-significant and two non-significant correlations between . Factor analyses on our data showed four factors which clearly corresponded to the four attachment styles as put forward by Bartholomew and Horowitz (1991).63) 2. the stability coefficients are reasonably high considering the length of the period between the two measurements. Even the dismissing scale had a stability coefficient of .78) Males (n = 1262) 3. like the Big Five. The construct validity of the four scales is reasonable. one has a negative image of others.39a (. Several motives can lead to being dismissing of others. As could be expected. This may be due to the variability of the dismissiveness concept. the secure style correlated positively with indicators of model of self.35b (. that is self-esteem/selfperception. As expected. roughly one year.39a (. the internal consistency of the dismissing scale is moderate (α’s between . It is important to realize that low reliability may also explain the in general weak relations between dismissing attachment and the other variables. The stability was the highest for the fearful attachment style.89a (.13a (. However. & De Raad.67) 2.Development of the Attachment Styles Questionnaire 41 Table 2. Cell means with different subscripts (per row) differ significantly (p <.78) 3.59 and . 1999).

as predicted by Bartholomew and Horowitz’ model. At the same time. People scoring high on the secure style tend to solve conflicts in a constructive manner. or in which the own interests are neglected (loyalty). As preoccupied people in general are afraid of being abandoned and of other people not liking them. Furthermore. For the secure and fearful style we found. positive and negative relations with image of others/trust in others. it might be that preoccupied people come to distrust others. People scoring high on secure attachment. although people scoring high on dismissing attachment somewhat tend to use the less constructive strategies. this might be attributed to the different motives which can lead to a dismissing style. Gjerde and Block (2001) who also found that dismissing attachment did not significantly correlate with self-esteem. respectively. but with exit and neglect. the scales of the ASQ correlated highest with the corresponding scales of the Relationship Questionnaire (Bartholomew & Horowitz. the correlations between the attachment styles and the Big Five traits were in line with the expectations. For the preoccupied style we found a negative relation with trust in others. The dismissing style did have a significant negative relation with an indicator of model of others: Image of others. that is taking the interests of the self and the other party into account. Highly fearful individuals appeared to score low on extraversion. 1991). This result reflects the lower need for others which is characteristic of dismissing attachment. People scoring high on fearful and preoccupied attachment tend to show a reversed pattern: they do not tend to react with voice. Finally.42 Chapter 2 the dismissing style and self-esteem/self-perception. our results are in line with a study by Onishi. In addition. showed low levels of extraversion. The correlations between the dismissing style and the EVLN-intentions were less clear. These results fit the image of people with a positive model of the self and self-confidence during social interactions. which fits the image of people with a negative model of the self and a tendency to avoid social contacts out of fear of being hurt. agreeableness and autonomy. the attachment styles appeared to be associated with reactions to frustrating situations in a predictable way. People scoring high on dismissing attachment. they do not tend to react in a way in which the interests of the other party are neglected (exit and neglect). Nevertheless. showed high levels of extraversion. autonomy and . which is different from the model of Bartholomew and Horowitz. Negative image of others thus appears to be more defining for dismissing people than self-esteem. As indicated before. This distrust of others of preoccupied people might stem from their negative image of the self instead of supposed bad intentions of other people. The preoccupied attachment style correlated negatively with emotional stability. emotional stability and autonomy.

These results fit the image of people with a negative image of the self and a fear of being rejected by others in social interactions. In addition. are more insecure about themselves and more focused on the question whether other people like them and find them interesting enough. 1992). the differences between the groups might be attributed to the divergent phases in life. however. emigrants get used to having less warm personal contacts. A remarkable outcome of the present study is the differences between the three groups. First of all. who are in a transition phase of entering adulthood and going to college which brings about many changes and insecurities. Although speculative. More items for this subscale should be . based on theoretical and empirical arguments. we prefer. women and men differ on relational variables.Development of the Attachment Styles Questionnaire 43 extraversion. 1997). Our results are largely in line with the results of Noftle and Shaver’s (2006) review study. women are more concerned about whether other people like them than men. which is in line with studies that for instance showed that women are more relationship oriented (Cross & Madson. It could be that. the internal consistency of the dismissing scale is too low. the measurement of four attachment styles instead of two dimensions. which corresponded with Bartholomew and Horowitz’ (1991) attachment styles. the students scored higher on the fearful and preoccupied styles than both the adult and emigrant group. It is understandable that students. This indicates that women are somewhat more socially oriented than men. the EVLN-intentions and the Big Five traits. Generally. First of all. because of the experiences and circumstances in an other country. as indicated by the higher score on preoccupied attachment. Therefore. Second. Factor analyses on our data. Besides. image of others/trust in others. and provide more social support than men (Wellman. more aloofness towards others and keeping more distance from other people. Brennan. males appeared to be more dismissing. a few things need to be addressed. the descriptions of the Relationship Questionnaire. recommended that adult attachment should be assessed by measuring two underlying factors or dimensions. So. in stead of two. in their mean scores on the attachment styles after controlling for the effect of age. The dismissing style is characterized by a certain degree of distrust of others. anxiety and avoidance. In future studies. In the past years. Clark. than the more mature adults. emigrants appeared to score higher on dismissing attachment than students and adults. Results showed that women are more secure in relations. the four attachment scales are clearly distinguishable. students. and Shaver (1998). based on the correlations with self-esteem/self-perception. showed four factors. adults and emigrants. Moreover. it is not surprising that we found gender differences with respect to attachment styles.

to our opinion. for instance coping styles or number of friends. and one group of students and two groups of adults. Acknowledgements We are grateful to Winny Bakker and Dick Barelds who generously gave access to the data of the emigrants. . more research is needed on the relations between the four attachment styles. Also. Nevertheless. the Attachment Styles Questionnaire we presented in this chapter is a valid and reliable new instrument for measuring adult attachment to others in general. a few items of the scale for fearful attachment are double-barrelled. and other theoretically relevant variables. Items that only consist of one statement will probably be clearer for the respondent and consequently the score on the fearful scale will better reflect the true score of the respondent. Second. Future research could look more deeply into this issue.44 Chapter 2 developed in order to improve the reliability. particularly the dismissing style. respectively.