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Implicit and explicit measures of adult attachment to mothers in a Chinese context

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In this study we explored the relationship between implicit and explicit measures of adult attachment to mothers and the validity of the Implicit Association Test (IAT; Greenwald, McGhee, & Schwartz, 1998) as a tool for measuring adult attachment in a Chinese context. Conscious and explicit adult attachment were assessed using 2 multiple self-report measures; namely, the Relationship Questionnaire (RQ; Bartholomew & Horowitz, 1991) and the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale (ECR; Brennan, Clark, & Shaver, 1998). The implicit processes of adult attachment were assessed using 2 IATs, which were developed based on the 2-dimensional attachment model (Bartholomew & Horowitz, 1991). Self-esteem, as measured by the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965), and subjective well-being, as measured by the Face Scale (Andrews & Withey, 1976), were designed as potential correlates of the implicit and explicit attachment measures. Fifty-six undergraduates participated in this study, and it was concluded that both the Self-IAT and the Other-IAT (1) could be used to measure adult attachment with satisfactory reliability and validity; (2) were significantly related to the 2 dimensions of adult attachment, as measured by the RQ and the ECR; (3) correlated significantly positively with subjective well-being, but not with explicit self-esteem. We concluded that implicit and explicit attachment measures might represent different aspects of the same underlying construct.
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Keywords: ADULT ATTACHMENT TO MOTHERS; CHINESE CONTEXT; EXPLICIT SELF-ESTEEM; IMPLICIT ASSOCIATION TEST; IMPLICIT MEASURES; SUBJECTIVE WELL-BEING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-06-01

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