In the present study an adult attachment dimension, latent to the constructs of security, anxiety, and avoidance, was hypothesized, wherein security was expected to occupy the most relevant position. Furthermore, the reciprocal functioning of attachment constructs and their interactions with self-esteem were explored. Four hundreds and thirty-four Italian university students responded to two adult attachment questionnaires (Attachment Style Questionnaire and Adult Attachment Questionnaire) and to the Rosenberg Self-esteem scale. A Many-Facet Rasch Measurement modeling approach was adopted. The main results can be summarized as follows: (a) security, anxiety, and avoidance are nested under one latent attachment dimension; (b) security occupies the most prominent position on the dimension; (c) security is positively associated with a moderate level of attachment anxiety and negatively related to avoidance; and (d) a positive interaction between self-esteem and security, and a negative relation between self-esteem and anxiety, were detected. Theoretical, clinical, and empirical implications of the results are further discussed.

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Scandinavian Journal of Psychology
Department of Psychology

Mannarini, S., & Boffo, M. (2014). The relevance of security: A latent domain of attachment relationships. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 55(1). doi:10.1111/sjop.12091