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Validation of the Adolescent Attachment Anxiety and Avoidance Inventory among Canadian Secondary School Students


The present study evaluated the factor structure and concurrent validity of the Adolescent Attachment Anxiety and Avoidance Inventory (AAAAI) towards mothers and fathers using two normative samples of secondary school students. Both samples included participants between 13 and 19 years of age (N = 388 for each of Samples 1 and 2) who reported on their experiences of attachment anxiety and avoidance towards their mothers and fathers, as well measures of friendship quality and experiences with anger. Findings from a series of factor analyses demonstrated support for the two-factor solution to the AAAAI for both mothers and fathers, supporting previous clinical literature. Moreover, attachment anxiety and avoidance were both positively correlated with anger expressions and were differentially associated with positive and negative friendship features. The results emphasize the value of the dimensional approach to studying attachment quality and its differential effects on youth adjustment.


  • This study validates a measure of adolescents’ perceptions of attachment dimensions with mothers and fathers.

  • Results support dimensions of attachment focused on avoidance and anxiety.

  • Attachments to mothers and fathers show similar, yet unique effects on youth functioning.

  • Findings emphasize the role of paternal attachment anxiety and avoidance on adolescent well-being.

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The authors wish to thank the staff and students of the participating schools for the cooperation and involvement in this study.

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Correspondence to Ryan J. Persram.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Persram, R.J., Konishi, C. Validation of the Adolescent Attachment Anxiety and Avoidance Inventory among Canadian Secondary School Students. J Child Fam Stud 31, 2813–2824 (2022).

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