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Measuring Attachment: Developmental Assessment across the Lifespan
Everett Waters, PhD, Brian E. Vaughn, PhD, and Harriet Salatas Waters, PhD | Foreword by L. Alan Sroufe
Guilford Press / Hardcover / May 2021
9781462546473 (ISBN-10: 1462546471)
reg price: $95.95 our price: $ 86.36 (may be subject to change)
488 pages
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This volume provides an in-depth examination of traditional and emerging measures of attachment behavior and representations from infancy to adulthood. Leading authorities share their expertise on the Strange Situation, the Attachment Q-set, Ainsworth's Maternal Sensitivity Scales, the Adult Attachment Interview, the Attachment Script Assessments, and the Adult Attachment Projective Picture System, as well as analogue and experimental methods. The book clarifies the conceptual and empirical underpinnings of the various measures and shows how they fit into a coherent developmental framework. Offering detailed discussions of key constructs such as attachment security, the secure base phenomenon, disorganization, and narrative structure, this is a valuable resource for both researchers and practitioners who use attachment assessments in their work.


“In my teaching and advising, I am always asking students: 'How was attachment measured?' Student responses indicate how little attention is given to attachment measurement, making this a timely and needed resource. I can see assigning this book in my doctoral seminar on attachment theory and research. The chapters are written by the leading figures in the field and provide invaluable information for new and more seasoned researchers, students, and clinicians. This invaluable contribution is a one-stop shop to compare and evaluate attachment measures across the lifespan.”

—Richard Lanthier, PhD, Graduate School of Education and Human Development, The George Washington University

“Rich in history and theory, this is a compelling work for researchers, clinicians, and students interested in the assessment, measurement, and definition of constructs critical to the attachment system. All in one place, readers can find thorough consideration of the best-validated, state-of-the-art methodologies used to assess attachment throughout the lifespan (including the neglected periods of middle childhood and adolescence). This important guide provides links to measurement manuals; offers insightful tips for observation, scoring, interpretation, and the training of coders and research assistants; and explains key constructs. This is a valuable reference for scholars and practitioners at any level interested in the developmental continuity and intergenerational transmission of attachment.”

—Jennifer C. Ablow, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Oregon

Table of Contents:

1. Mary Ainsworth, Ethology, and Maternal Sensitivity, German Posada, Everett Waters, Brian E. Vaughn, David Pederson, & Gregory Moran

2. Assessing Secure Base Behavior in Naturalistic Environments: The Attachment Q-Set, Brian E. Vaughn, Everett Waters, & Douglas M. Teti

3. The Strange Situation: Paradigm, Practique, and FAQs, Everett Waters, Brian E. Vaughn, & Kristin Bernard

4. Attachment Disturbance: Disorganization and Disorder, Elizabeth A. Carlson

5. Issues of Method in the Assessment of Disorganized Attachment, Judith Solomon, Robbie Duschinsky, Liam Bakkum, & Carlo Schuengel

6. Promising Approaches to Assessing Attachment in Middle Childhood: Navigating the Options, Kathryn A. Kerns & Ashley C. Seibert

7. Assessing Attachment in Adolescence, Joseph P. Allen

8. Measuring Attachment Representations as Secure Base Script Knowledge: The Prompt-Word Outline Method in Adulthood, Adolescence, and Middle Childhood, Harriet Salatas Waters and Theodore E. A. Waters

9. The Adult Attachment Interview: A Guide for New Researchers and Research Consumers, Judith A. Crowell

10. Measuring Secure Base Script Knowledge in the Adult Attachment Interview, Theodore E. A. Waters & Christopher R. Facompré

11. Laboratory Methods for Assessing Secure Base Use and Support in Adult Relationships, Brooke C. Feeney

12. The Associative Structure of Adult Attachment Representations: Priming Methods for Assessing Implicit Knowledge and Expectations, Markus A. Maier, Annie Bernier, & David M. Corcoran

13. The Adult Attachment Projective Picture System: Representational Assessment of Attachment in Adolescents and Adults, Carol George & Malcolm West

14. Measuring Attachment: Legacy and Prospects, Everett Waters, Brian E. Vaughn, & Harriet Salatas Waters


About the Editors:

Everett Waters, PhD, is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Stony Brook University, State University of New York. During his undergraduate and graduate studies, he worked with Mary Ainsworth, Mary Main, Inge Bretherton, and L. Alan Sroufe. Dr. Waters is a coauthor of Mary Ainsworth’s classic volume Patterns of Attachment and has published numerous articles on attachment theory and measurement. He is cofounder of the New York Attachment Consortium and a recipient of the Boyd McCandless Early Career Award from Division 7 (Developmental Psychology) of the American Psychological Association, the Bowlby–Ainsworth Award from the Center for Mental Health Promotion and the New York Attachment Consortium, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Emotion and Attachment Studies.

Brian E. Vaughn, PhD, is Human Sciences Professor of Human Development at Auburn University. During his graduate studies at the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development, Dr. Vaughn was mentored by L. Alan Sroufe and Byron Egeland. He is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and a recipient of the Bowlby–Ainsworth Award from the Center for Mental Health Promotion and the New York Attachment Consortium. Dr. Vaughn has contributed widely to the literature on attachment in infancy, early childhood, and early adulthood, with special interests in the intersections of attachment and temperament and the relation of infant attachment to social competence in early childhood.

Harriet Salatas Waters, PhD, is Emerita Professor of Psychology at Stony Brook University, State University of New York. During her graduate studies at the University of Minnesota's Institute of Child Development, Dr. Waters worked with John Flavell. She has made significant contributions to research on narrative attachment assessment and has originated research into the script-like structure of adult, adolescent, and middle childhood attachment representations.

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