research articles

Integrating adult attachment scales and vulnerability factors in depression


  • Rolf van Geel
  • Tilly Houtmans
  • Peter Verboon
  • Tony Laumen


attachment, sociotropy, autonomy, depression, satisfaction with life


The factorial structure of a combined set of items about adult attachment orientation and depressive personality vulnerabilities was examined. By employing exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis in two nonclinical samples (N = 661, N = 528), a six-factor model emerged covering three higher-order dimensions: (I) attachment anxiety (concern what others think, pleasing and dependency/difficulty with being alone); (II) attachment avoidance (avoidance of intimacy and lack of trust); and (III) need for control/independence. These (sub)factors portray the interpersonal problems of the insecure attachment prototypes, as well as the anaclitic and introjective depressive personality prototypes. Path analysis showed that two anxiety-sociotropy subscales (concern and pleasing) and two avoidance-autonomy subscales (distrust and control) emerged as significant predictors of BDI depression. Notably, close inspection of the six-factor model challenges the original composition of several subscales of the two questionnaires involved.





research articles