Integrating Interpersonal Assessment and Adult Attachment Using SASB

Aaron Lee Pincus, Kelly A. Dickinson, Alex J. Schut, Louis Georges Castonguay, Jamie Bedics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The increasing interest in adult attachment concepts in social, personality, and clinical psychology has led to the proliferation of multiple self-report measures operationalizing such constructs as they are reflected in a variety of related conceptual models. Recent investigations of adult attachment measures indicate they generally converge in providing rather global information regarding the general positive or negative quality of enduring bonds with primary caregivers during the adult years or the general positive or negative quality of relational style individuals exhibit in the formation of new relationships. Benjamin and her colleagues proposed an integration of interpersonal and attachment theories based on Structural Analysis of Social Behavior (SASB) to improve precision of adult attachment assessment. They suggested that the addition of SASB-based interpersonal descriptors would improve the utility of attachment concepts in assessment and relational diagnosis. Two studies were conducted to evaluate these propositions by examining the convergent relations between childhood parental representations assessed by the SASB Intrex questionnaires and two measures of adult attachment constructs. Results of both studies supported predicted convergence between SASB dimensions and attachment constructs. Fearful and preoccupied adult attachment styles, perceptions of rejecting early attachment, and current angry and dismissive states of mind toward the caregiver are negatively related to SASB affiliation. Perceptions of enmeshed early attachment is negatively related to SASB autonomy. The addition of interpersonal descriptors to the assessment of global attachment constructs adds precision to the description of "internal working models," increasing sophistication of attachment concepts for relational diagnosis and assessment. A framework for integrated attachment/interpersonal assessment is discussed and examples are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-220
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychological Assessment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology


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