Short Form Version of the Father and Mother Attachment Questionnaire (FMAQ)

  • Filipa Nunes
  • Catarina P. Mota
  • Mónica Costa
  • Raquel S. Assunção
  • Paula M. MatosEmail author
Original Paper



The Father and Mother Attachment Questionnaire (FMAQ) is a 30-item self-report measure developed for assessing adolescents’ and young adults’ representations of attachment relationships with each parental figure separately, across three dimensions: quality of emotional bond, separation anxiety, and inhibition of exploration and individuality. Five studies were conducted to develop a short-form of FMAQ and to examine whether this new short measure presented with fit psychometric properties.


Study 1 involved Item Response Theory (IRT) analyses with 563 Portuguese adolescents and aim to select the best items to include in the short-form of the FMAQ. Studies 2 to 5 aimed to replicate the reliability and factor structure found in Study 1 through confirmatory factor analysis on independent samples of adolescents, young adults and adults.


The IRT results suggested including 15-items in the short-form of FMAQ. The results provide support for the adjustment of the short factor structure, internal consistency, and invariance measurement (among gender of participants and parental roles), and predictive validity across different samples.


The results obtained in the five studies indicate that the short-form FMAQ is a reliable instrument to assess the quality of attachment to parents in adolescence and emerging adulthood, as well as to evaluate adults’ perceptions of their parents as attachment figures during their adolescence. Thus, we suggest this short-form as a promising research tool for researchers quickly to assess attachment to parents in these ages taking into account a three-dimensional approach.


Parental attachment Self-report measure Construct validity Measurement invariance Youth 



We would like to thank the researchers Fátima Silva, Tatiana Ferreira and Patrícia da Costa Claro from the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, for kindly making their databases available for this study. This work was funded by the Portuguese Science Foundation (CPUP UID/PSI/00050/2013; FEDER/COMPETE2020 POCI-01-0145-FEDER-007294) and a PhD scholarship (SFRH/BD/133032/2017).

Author Contributions

F.N. conceptualized and designed the study, carried out the analyses and drafted the manuscript; C.P.M. conceptualized and designed the study and reviewed the manuscript for clarity; M.C. contributed to carry out the analyses and the discussion of the results; R.S.A. contributed to carry out the analyses; P.M.M. conceptualized and designed the study, wrote parts of the manuscript, and critically reviewed the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript as submitted and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This study is in accordance with the ethical standards of the Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences at the University of Porto (REFª2017/12-11) and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

10826_2019_1672_MOESM1_ESM.docx (20 kb)
Supplementary Information


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Psychology and Education SciencesUniversity of Porto. R. Alfredo AllenPortoPortugal
  2. 2.Center for PsychologyUniversity of Porto. R. Alfredo AllenPortoPortugal
  3. 3.University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro—UTAD, Edifício da Escola de Ciências Humanas e Sociais—Polo I. Quinta dos Prados—UTADVila RealPortugal

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