Adult Attachment Scale (AAS)
The Adult Attachment Scale (AAS) was officially developed in 1990 but built on the earlier work of Hazen & Shaver (1987) and Levy & Davis (1988). The scale was developed by decomposing the original three prototypical descriptions (Hazen & Shaver, 1987) into a series of 18 items.
The scale consists of 18 items scored on a 5 point likert-type scale. It measures adult attachment styles named "Secure", "Anxious" and "Avoidant", defined as:
• Secure = high scores on Close and Depend subscales, low score on Anxiety subscale
• Anxious = high score on Anxiety subscale, moderate scores on Close and Depend subscales
• Avoidant = low scores on Close, Depend, and Anxiety subscales
The 18 items that compromise the measure are as follows:
- I find it difficult to allow myself to depend on others (Av)
- People are never there when you need them (Av)
- I am comfortable depending on others (S)
- I know that others will be there when I need them (S)
- I find it difficult to trust others completely (Av)
- I am not sure that I can always depend on others to be there when I need them (Ax)
- I do not often worry about being abandoned (S)
- I often worry that my partner does not really love me (Ax)
- I find others are reluctant to get as close as I would like (Ax)
- I often worry my partner will not want to stay with me (Ax)
- I want to merge completely with another person (Ax)
- My desire to merge sometimes scares people away (Ax)
- I find it relatively easy to get close to others (S)
- I do not often worry about someone getting close to me (S)
- I am somewhat uncomfortable being close to others (Av)
- I am nervous when anyone gets too close (Av)
- I am comfortable having others depend on me (S)
- Often, love partners want me to be more intimate than I feel comfortable being (Av)
Note: (S)= Secure, (Av)= Avoidant, (Ax)= Anxious/Ambivalent
Reliability and Validity
Collins & Read (1990) reported Cronbach's alpha coefficients of .69 for Close, .75 for Depend, and .72 for Anxiety. Test-retest correlations for a 2-month period were .68 for Close, .71 for Depend, and .52 for Anxiety.
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Administration, Analysis and Reporting
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Dissertations Using the Adult Attachment Scale
Below is a list of dissertations using the AAS. The full version of these dissertations can be found using ProQuest.
Sirota, T. H. (1997). A comparison of adult attachment style dimensions between women who have gay or bisexual fathers and women who have heterosexual fathers. New York University).
Collins, N. L., & Read, S. J. (1990). Adult attachment, working models, and relationship quality in dating couples. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58(4), 644-663.