The content validity of the Adult Attachment Interview. An empirical investigation using text analysis

Fabrizio Scrima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The aim of this study was to conduct a preliminary investigation of the content validity of the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI). Content validity is a series of hypothesis control methods relating to thecommunication of facts and it can be tested using several procedures of analytical decomposition (Rositi, 1988). In order to evaluate the content validity of a text, Sireci (1998), Sireci and Geisinger (1992, 1995), and Ding (2005) suggested the integration within this technique of multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis. The aim of this study was to conduct a preliminary investigation of thecontent validity of the AAI, as proposed in the literature. We hypothesized that participants with the same attachment style would use similar semantic systems, and that people who belong to different categories of attachment would use divergent semantic systems. Overall, 80 participants volunteered to take part in this research. Of these, 62% exhibited a secure attachment style, 20% a dismissing style, 14% a preoccupied style, and 4% an unresolved style. The interviews were coded in double blind trials by two expert codifiers. We created a textual corpus composed of the interview transcripts, which was processed using T-Lab software (Lancia, 2004). For each interview, the illustrative variable “attachment style” was indicated. Specificity analysis and cluster analysis were used. Results confirmed the bond between attachment representations. In particular, we observed that secure participants resorted to metacognitive processes, while dismissive participants were prone to idealization and lack of recall,and preoccupied participants primarily exhibited anger, blame, and a desire to close themselves off from the past.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-255
Number of pages15
JournalTPM. TESTING, PSYCHOMETRICS, METHODOLOGY IN APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY
Volume4
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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