Adult attachment and personality: Converging evidence and a new measure

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Study 1 presents the development of a measure of adult attachment qualities (the Measure of Attachment Qualities [MAQ]). Three further studies relate self-reports of adult attachment qualities to broader aspects of personality. Results indicate that avoidant attachment is inversely related to extroversion and agreeableness but relatively unrelated to manifest anxiety or neuroticism. Qualities of ambivalence (reflecting both worry and desire for merger) are related to both manifest anxiety and neuroticism but unrelated to extraversion. An affirmatively secure attachment quality that emerged in the MAQ (i.e., as a separate factor, rather than by default as low scores on avoidance or ambivalence factors) was related positively to extroversion and agreeableness but generally unrelated to anxiety or neuroticism. The final study also permitted comparison of the MAQ to a measure derived from a four-component model of attachment. Although there was considerable convergence, the data also provided challenges to both models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)865-883
Number of pages19
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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