In search of security: The latent structure of the adult attachment interview revisited

Katherine C. Haydon, Glenn I. Roisman, Keith B. Burt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Building on Roisman, Fraley, and Belsky, who produced evidence for two modestly correlated dimensions (i.e., dismissing and preoccupied states of mind) underlying individual differences in attachment as assessed by the Adult Attachment Interview using the Main and Goldwyn classification system, this report replicates and extends relevant evidence in a large sample of adults (N = 842) who completed the Adult Attachment Interview coded using Kobak's Adult Attachment Interview Q-Sort. Principal components analysis of item-level Q-Sort data yielded two state of mind (dismissing vs. free to evaluate and preoccupied vs. not) and two inferred experience (maternal and paternal) components that were associated with two domains of theoretical significance to attachment theory: interpersonal functioning in a romantic context and symptoms of psychopathology. Results revealed distinctive behavioral correlates of dismissing versus preoccupied states of mind and emphasize the differential predictive significance for developmental adaptation of attachment states of mind versus adults' recollections of their early experiences. Implications for adult attachment methodology and theory are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)589-606
Number of pages18
JournalDevelopment and psychopathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'In search of security: The latent structure of the adult attachment interview revisited'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this