Measuring Patients’ Attachment Avoidance in Psychotherapy: Development of the Attachment Avoidance in Therapy Scale (AATS)

András Láng, Bernadette Péley, Laura M. Barlay, László Bernáth

Abstract


A new scale measuring patient-therapist attachment avoidance was developed. Attachment Avoidance in Therapy Scale is a new measure based on the Bartholomew model of adult attachment (Bartholomew & Horowitz, 1991) and the Experience in Close Relationships Scale (Brennan, Clark, & Shaver, 1998) to measure patients’ attachment avoidance towards therapists. With 112 patient-therapist dyads participating in the study, validation of a preliminary scale – measuring both attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance in therapy – took place using therapists’ evaluations of patients’ relational behavior and patients’ self-reports about their attitude toward psychotherapy. Analysis of the data revealed six underlying scales. Results showed all six scales to be reliable. Validation of scales measuring attachment anxiety failed. The importance of Attachment Avoidance in Therapy Scale and its subscales is discussed.

Keywords


attachment; psychotherapy relationship; avoidance; measurement; self-report

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https://doi.org/10.5964/ejop.v8i4.485