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adult attachment, attachment insecurity, attachment security, factor structure



  1. Cain, Cary M.
  2. Mandell, Dorothy J.
  3. Padhye, Nikhil S.
  4. Rozmus, Cathy L.


Background: The Attachment Style Questionnaire (ASQ) was developed to measure individual differences in insecure adult attachment and was suitable for populations that may have minimal or no experience in romantic relationships. The measure was previously validated on homogenous populations.


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to verify construct validity and internal consistency of the ASQ among an ethnically and racially diverse sample of caregivers of young children ages birth to 3 years.


Methods: Using a cross-sectional design, we examined the psychometric properties of the ASQ. A racially and ethnically diverse sample of caregivers of young children (birth to 3 years old) completed the 40-item measure. Factor analyses and internal consistency analyses were conducted.


Results: Confirmatory factor analyses showed that the previously published factor structures were not a good fit for this diverse sample. Exploratory factor analysis with promax rotation revealed a four-factor solution among 16 items, including relationship anxiety, relationships as secondary, discomfort with closeness, and relationship distrust. Adequate internal consistency was noted for the factors, and structural invariance was confirmed across Hispanic and non-Hispanic ethnicities.


Discussion: Nurse scientists and practitioners should take caution when using or developing indices based on previous research. There should be consideration of structural stability and replication across the intended population.