The Experiences in Close Relationships—Relationship Structures Questionnaire: A Method for Assessing Attachment Orientations Across Relationships

Publication Date

January 2011


Psychological Assessment is published by the American Psychological Association,


Most research on adult attachment is based on the assumption that working models are relatively general and trait-like. Recent research, however, suggests that people develop attachment representations that are relationship-specific, leading people to hold distinct working models in different relationships. The authors report a measure, the Relationship Structures questionnaire of the Experiences in Close Relationships— Revised (ECR-RS; R. C. Fraley, N. G. Waller, & K. A. Brennan, 2000), that is designed to assess attachment dimensions in multiple contexts. Based on a sample of over 21,000 individuals studied online, it is shown that ECR-RS scores are reliable and have a structure similar to those produced by other measures. In Study 2 (N=388), it is shown that relationship-specific measures of attachment generally predict intra- and interpersonal outcomes better than broader attachment measures but that broader measures predict personality traits better than relationship-specific measures. Moreover, it is demonstrated that differentiation in working models is not related to psychological outcomes independently of mean levels of security.


Psychology | Social Psychology