Iranian Adaptation of the Revised Adult Attachment Scale: Validity and Reliability in the General Population

Document Type : Original Article


1 Ph.D. Student in Psychology, Education and Psychology Faculty, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Associate Professor, Education and Psychology Faculty, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.

3 MSc in Clinical Family Psychology, Family Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.

4 Assistant Professor, Education and Psychology Faculty, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.


Aim: The Revised Adult Attachment Scale (RAAS) is a well-established self-report measure designed for research purposes. Despite its extensive use in Iranian populations, the current study aimed to evaluate the factor structure, convergent validity, and reliability of RAAS in Iranian community adults.
Method: A sample of 605 participants (354 females, 251 males) was randomly divided into two samples (n1 = 303, n2 = 302) for factor analytic purposes. Alongside RAAS, measures of mentalizing capacity, emotion dysregulation, and borderline personality disorder were administered. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were applied to assess the factor structures proposed for its original version.
Results: Overall, factor analyses suggested the two-factor structure (anxiety and avoidance) to be a better fit for the data. Due to weak factor loadings, six items were removed, resulting in a 12-item scale. Additionally, anxiety and avoidance demonstrated significant correlations with attachment-related instruments (p< .001), and their internal consistencies were deemed acceptable (α=.83 and .76, respectively).
Conclusion: Our findings support the Iranian adaptation of RAAS in the general population, aligning with previous theoretical underpinnings.


Agishtein, P., & Brumbaugh, C. (2013). Cultural variation in adult attachment: The impact of ethnicity, collectivism, and country of origin. Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology, 7(4), 384. [link]
Ainsworth, M. D. S., Blehar, M. C., Waters, E., & Wall, S. (1978). Strange situation procedure. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry. [link]
American Psychiatric Association (2022). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed. Text Revision). Washington DC: American Psychiatric Publishing. [link]
Anjum, W., & Batool, I. (2016). Translation and Cross Language Validation of the Revised Adult Attachment Scale among Young Adults in Lahore, Pakistan. Peshawar Journal of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences (PJPBS), 2(1), 1-16. [link]
Bartholomew, K. (1990). Avoidance of intimacy: An attachment perspective. Journal of Social and Personal relationships, 7(2), 147-178. [link]
Bartholomew, K., & Horowitz, L. M. (1991). Attachment styles among young adults: a test of a four-category model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61(2), 226. 10.1037/0022-3514.61.2.226 [link]
Belvederi Murri, M., Ferrigno, G., Penati, S., Muzio, C., Piccinini, G., Innamorati, M., Ricci, F., Pompili, M., & Amore, M. (2017). Mentalization and depressive symptoms in a clinical sample of adolescents and young adults. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 22(2), 69-76. [link]
Bowlby, J. (1969). Attachment and loss, Volume III. [link]
Bowlby, J. (1973). Attachment and loss, Volume II. [link]
Brennan, K. A., & Shaver, P. R. (1998). Attachment styles and personality disorders: Their connections to each other and to parental divorce, parental death, and perceptions of parental caregiving. Journal of personality, 66(5), 835-878. [link]
Brennan, K. A., Clark, C. L., & Shaver, P. R. (1998). Self-report measurement of adult attachment: An integrative overview. [link]
Brislin, R. W. (1970). Back-Translation for Cross-Cultural Research. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 1(3), 185-216. [link]
Canavarro, M. C., Dias, P., & Lima, V. (2006). A avaliação da vinculação do adulto: Uma revisão crítica a propósito da aplicação da Adult Attachment Scale-R (ASS-R) na população portuguesa. Psicologia, 20(1), 156-186. [link]
Collins, N. L. (1996). Working models of attachment: Implications for explanation, emotion, and behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71(4), 810. [link]
Collins, N. L., & Read, S. J. (1990). Adult attachment, working models, and relationship quality in dating couples. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58(4), 644. [link]
Collins, N. L., Ford, M. B., Guichard, A. C., & Allard, L. M. (2006). Working models of attachment and attribution processes in intimate relationships. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32(2), 201-219. [link]
Costello, A. B., & Osborne, J. (2005). Best practices in exploratory factor analysis: Four recommendations for getting the most from your analysis. Practical assessment, research, and evaluation, 10(1), 7. [link]
Dagan, O., Facompré, C. R., & Bernard, K. (2018). Adult attachment representations and depressive symptoms: A meta-analysis. Journal of affective disorders, 236, 274-290. [link]
Eloranta, S. J., Kaltiala, R., Lindberg, N., Kaivosoja, M., & Peltonen, K. (2020). Validating measurement tools for mentalization, emotion regulation difficulties and identity diffusion among Finnish adolescents. Nordic Psychology, 1-23. [link]
Feddern Donbaek, D., & Elklit, A. (2014). A validation of the Experiences in Close Relationships-Relationship Structures scale (ECR-RS) in adolescents. Attachment & Human Development, 16(1), 58-76. [link]
Feeney, J. A., Noller, P., & Hanrahan, M. (1994). Assessing adult attachment. In M. B. Sperling & W. H. Berman (Eds.), Attachment in adults: Clinical and developmental perspectives (pp. 128–152). New York: Guilford Press. [link]
Fernández, A. M., & Dufey, M. (2015). Adaptation of Collins' revised adult attachment dimensional scale to the Chilean context. Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica, 28, 242-252. [link]
Fokkema, M., & Greiff, S. (2017). How Performing PCA and CFA on the Same Data Equals Trouble. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 33(6), 399-402. [link]
Fonagy, P., & Luyten, P. (2018). Attachment, mentalizing, and the self.[link]
Fonagy, P., Luyten, P., Moulton-Perkins, A., Lee, Y.-W., Warren, F., Howard, S., Ghinai, R., Fearon, P., & Lowyck, B. (2016). Development and Validation of a Self-Report Measure of Mentalizing: The Reflective Functioning Questionnaire. PLOS ONE, 11(7), e0158678. [link]
Fossati, A., Feeney, J. A., Donati, D., Donini, M., Novella, L., Bagnato, M., ... & Maffei, C. (2003). On the dimensionality of the Attachment Style Questionnaire in Italian clinical and nonclinical participants. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 20(1), 55-79. [link]
George, C., & West, M. (2001). The development and preliminary validation of a new measure of adult attachment: The Adult Attachment Projective. Attachment & Human Development, 3(1), 30-61. [link]
George, C., Kaplan, N., & Main, M. (1996). Adult Attachment Interview. Unpublished manuscript, Department of Psychology. University of California, Berkeley. [link]
Graham, J. M., & Unterschute, M. S. (2015). A reliability generalization meta-analysis of self-report measures of adult attachment. Journal of Personality Assessment, 97(1), 31-41. [link]
Haddadi, A., & Ghobari, B. (2012). The Relation among God Concept, Attachment and Paranoid Ideation in College Students. Journal of Modern Psychological Researches, 6(24), 39-58. [link]
Haddadi, A., & Ghobari, B. (2012). The Relation among God Concept, Attachment and Paranoid Ideation in College Students. Journal of Modern Psychological Researches, 6(24), 39-58. [link]
Hair, J. F., Babin, B. J., Anderson, R. E., & Black, W. C. (2019). Multivariate data analysis (8th ed.). Cengage Learning. [link]
Hair, J. F., Hult, G. T. M., Ringle, C. M., & Sarstedt, M. (2017). A primer on partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) (2nd ed.). Sage publications. [link]
Hajizadeh, K., Ahadi, H., Jomehri, F., & Rahgozar, M. (2013). Psychosocial predictors of barriers to cervical cancer screening among Iranian women: the role of attachment style and social demographic factors. Journal of Preventive Medicine and Hygiene54(4), 218–222. [link]
Hashemi, S., Dortaj, F., Sadipour, E., & Asadzadeh, H. (2017). Structural model of shame and guilt feelings based on parenting styles: The mediating role of attachment styles. Journal of applied psychology, 11(1), 475-493. [link]
Hausberg, M. C., Schulz, H., Piegler, T., Happach, C. G., Klöpper, M., Brütt, A. L., Sammet, I., & Andreas, S. (2012). Is a self-rated instrument appropriate to assess mentalization in patients with mental disorders? Development and first validation of the Mentalization Questionnaire (MZQ). Psychotherapy Research, 22(6), 699-709. [link]
Herstell, S., Betz, L. T., Penzel, N., Chechelnizki, R., Filihagh, L., Antonucci, L., & Kambeitz, J. (2021). Insecure attachment as a transdiagnostic risk factor for major psychiatric conditions: A meta-analysis in bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia spectrum disorder. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 144, 190-201. [link]
Heshmati, R., Zemestani, M., & Vujanovic, A. (2022). Associations of Childhood Maltreatment and Attachment Styles with Romantic Breakup Grief Severity: The Role of Emotional Suppression. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 37(13–14), NP11883–NP11904. [link]
Kaufman, E. A., Xia, M., Fosco, G., Yaptangco, M., Skidmore, C. R., & Crowell, S. E. (2016). The Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale Short Form (DERS-SF): Validation and Replication in Adolescent and Adult Samples. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 38(3), 443-455. [link]
Keng, S. L., Lee, Y., Drabu, S., Hong, R. Y., Chee, C. Y. I., Ho, C. S. H., & Ho, R. C. M. (2019). Construct Validity of the McLean Screening Instrument for Borderline Personality Disorder in Two Singaporean Samples. J Pers Disord, 33(4), 450-469. [link]
Kline, R. B. (2015). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling. Guilford publications. [link]
Koohsar, A. A. H., & Bonab, B. G. (2011). Relation between quality of attachment and life satisfaction in high school administrators. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 30, 954-958. [link]
Kyriazos, T. (2018) Applied Psychometrics: Sample Size and Sample Power Considerations in Factor Analysis (EFA, CFA) and SEM in General. Psychology9, 2207-2230. [link]
Le Corff, Y., Martin-Storey, A., Touchette, L., Lapalme, M., & Forget, K. (2021). Validation of a French Translation of the McLean Screening Instrument for Borderline Personality Disorder, Invariance Across Genders, and Association with Depression, Trauma Symptoms, and Substance Use Among University Students. J Pers Disord, 35(4), 605-617. [link]
Luyten, P., Malcorps, S., Fonagy, P., & Ensink, K. (2019). Assessment of mentalizing. Handbook of mentalizing in mental health practice, 37-62. [link]
McNeish D. (2018). Thanks coefficient alpha, we'll take it from here. Psychological methods23(3), 412–433. [link]
Mekawi, Y., Watson-Singleton, N. N., Dixon, H. D., Fani, N., Michopoulos, V., & Powers, A. (2021). Validation of the difficulties with emotion regulation scale in a sample of trauma-exposed Black women. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 77(3), 587-606. [link]
Meyers, L. S., Gamst, G. C., & Guarino A. J. (2016). Applied multivariate research: Design and interpretation (3rd ed.). SAGE Publications. [link]
Mikulincer, M., & Shaver, P. R. (2019). Attachment orientations and emotion regulation. Current opinion in psychology, 25, 6-10. [link]
Mousavi Asl, E., Dabaghi, P., & Taghva, A. (2020). Screening borderline personality disorder: The psychometric properties of the Persian version of the McLean screening instrument for borderline personality disorder. J Res Med Sci, 25, 97. [link]
Müller, S., Wendt, L. P., Spitzer, C., Masuhr, O., Back, S. N., & Zimmermann, J. (2021). A Critical Evaluation of the Reflective Functioning Questionnaire (RFQ). Journal of Personality Assessment, 1-15. [link]
Nematy, A., & Oloomi, M. (2016). The comparison of attachment styles among Iranian lesbian, gay, and bisexual and heterosexual people. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services28(4), 369-378. [link]
Pituch K. A. & Stevens J. (2016). Applied multivariate statistics for the social sciences: Analyses with SAS and IBM's SPSS (6th Ed.). Routledge. [link]
Probst, T., Dehoust, M., Brütt, A. L., Schulz, H., Pieh, C., & Andreas, S. (2018). Mentalization and Self-Efficacy as Mediators between Psychological Symptom Severity and Disabilities in Activities and Participation in Psychotherapy Patients. Psychopathology, 51(1), 38-46. [link]
Raimondi, G., Samela, T., Lester, D., Imperatori, C., Carlucci, L., Contardi, A., Balsamo, M., & Innamorati, M. (2022). Psychometric Properties of the Italian Mentalization Questionnaire: Assessing Structural Invariance and Construct Validity. Journal of Personality Assessment, 104(5), 628-636. [link]
Ravitz, P., Maunder, R., Hunter, J., Sthankiya, B., & Lancee, W. (2010). Adult attachment measures: A 25-year review. Journal of psychosomatic research, 69(4), 419-432. [link]
Schwarzer, N.-H., Nolte, T., Fonagy, P., & Gingelmaier, S. (2021). Mentalizing and emotion regulation: Evidence from a nonclinical sample. International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 30(1), 34-45. [link]
Seyed Mousavi, P. S., Vahidi, E., Ghanbari, S., Khoshroo, S., & Sakkaki, S. Z. (2021). Reflective Functioning Questionnaire (RFQ): Psychometric Properties of the Persian Translation and Exploration of Its Mediating Role in the Relationship between Attachment to Parents and Internalizing and Externalizing Problems in Adolescents. Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy, 1-18. [link]
Shaver, P., & Hazan, C. (1987). Being lonely, falling in love. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 2(2), 105.[link]
Smith, M., & South, S. (2020). Romantic attachment style and borderline personality pathology: A meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 75, 101781. [link]
Teixeira, R. C. R., Ferreira, J. H. B. P., & Howat-Rodrigues, A. B. C. (2019). Collins and Read revised adult attachment scale (RAAS) validity evidences. Psico, 50(2), e29567-e29567. [link]
Troisi, G., Parola, A., & Margherita, G. (2022). Italian Validation of AAS-R: Assessing Psychometric Properties of Adult Attachment Scale—Revised in the Italian Context. Psychological Studies, 67(4), 605-613. [link]
Wampler, K. S., Riggs, B., & Kimball, T. G. (2004). Observing attachment behavior in couples: The adult attachment behavior q‐set (AABQ). Family process, 43(3), 315-335. [link]
Watkins, M. W. (2018). Exploratory Factor Analysis: A Guide to Best Practice. Journal of Black Psychology, 44(3), 219-246. [link]
Woźniak-Prus, M., Gambin, M., Cudo, A., & Sharp, C. (2022). Investigation of the Factor Structure of the Reflective Functioning Questionnaire (RFQ-8): One or Two Dimensions? Journal of Personality Assessment, 104(6), 736-746. [link]
Zanarini, M. C., Vujanovic, A. A., Parachini, E. A., Boulanger, J. L., Frankenburg, F. R., & Hennen, J. (2003). A screening measure for BPD: the McLean Screening Instrument for Borderline Personality Disorder (MSI-BPD). J Pers Disord, 17(6), 568-573. [link]
Zhang, X., Li, J., Xie, F., Chen, X., Xu, W., & Hudson, N. W. (2022). The relationship between adult attachment and mental health: A meta-analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 123(5), 1089. [link]