Assessing the reliability of change: A comparison of two measures of adult attachment

Joy H. Xu, Patrick E. Shrout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recently attachment researchers have become interested in how attachment changes within an individual due to social or cognitive context fluctuations. Such analyses of process are limited by unreliability of change scores. Traditional estimates of between-person reliability (Cronbach's alpha) are not informative about how reliable a measure is at capturing within-person change. In two longitudinal studies, we examined the reliability of the State Adult Attachment Measure (SAAM; Gillath, Hart, Noftle, & Stockdale, 2009) and the Experiences in Close Relationships scale (ECR; Brennan, Clark, & Shaver, 1998), in capturing attachment change. We used generalizability theory analyses to estimate the between- and within-person reliabilities of both scales. Even with fewer items, the reliability of change for the SAAM was higher than that of the ECR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-208
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • Adult attachment
  • Reliability
  • State measures
  • Within-person change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • General Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessing the reliability of change: A comparison of two measures of adult attachment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this