Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

pp 1-3

Date: Latest Version

Adult Attachment Interview

Name and Type of Measure

Adult Attachment Interview (AAI).


The AAI is a semistructured interview and scoring system developed to assess adult- and adolescent-attachment based on congruence between semantic and episodic memories. To illustrate, the semantic descriptor “loving” about an interviewee’s childhood relationship with his mother is incongruent with the episodic memory of being punished for failing to take out the trash, but is congruent with the memory of being surprised that she comforted the interviewee for failing a history exam.

The AAI contains 18 questions that probe autobiographical childhood memories, descriptions of relationships with primary caregivers, and experiences of loss and trauma. Trained coders analyze responses for coherence of discourse, comprised of natural conversational maxims, including veracity, concision, relevance, and order (Grice 1975), resulting in assignment on one of the continuous rating scales of attachment:

Secure-Autonomous (F). Tran ...

This is an excerpt from the content