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An item response theory analysis of self-report measures of adult attachment.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of personality and social psychology
Publication Date
Volume
78
Issue
2
Pages
350–365
Identifiers
PMID: 10707340
Source
Medline

Abstract

Self-report measures of adult attachment are typically scored in ways (e.g., averaging or summing items) that can lead to erroneous inferences about important theoretical issues, such as the degree of continuity in attachment security and the differential stability of insecure attachment patterns. To determine whether existing attachment scales suffer from scaling problems, the authors conducted an item response theory (IRT) analysis of 4 commonly used self-report inventories: Experiences in Close Relationships scales (K. A. Brennan, C. L. Clark, & P. R. Shaver, 1998), Adult Attachment Scales (N. L. Collins & S. J. Read, 1990), Relationship Styles Questionnaire (D. W. Griffin & K. Bartholomew, 1994) and J. Simpson's (1990) attachment scales. Data from 1,085 individuals were analyzed using F. Samejima's (1969) graded response model. The authors' findings indicate that commonly used attachment scales can be improved in a number of important ways. Accordingly, the authors show how IRT techniques can be used to develop new attachment scales with desirable psychometric properties.

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