The latent structure of secure base script knowledge

Theodore E.A. Waters, R. Chris Fraley, Ashley M. Groh, Ryan D. Steele, Brian E. Vaughn, Kelly K. Bost, Manuela Veríssimo, Gabrielle Coppola, Glenn I. Roisman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is increasing evidence that attachment representations abstracted from childhood experiences with primary caregivers are organized as a cognitive script describing secure base use and support (i.e., the secure base script). To date, however, the latent structure of secure base script knowledge has gone unexamined-this despite that such basic information about the factor structure and distributional properties of these individual differences has important conceptual implications for our understanding of how representations of early experience are organized and generalized, as well as methodological significance in relation to maximizing statistical power and precision. In this study, we report factor and taxometric analyses that examined the latent structure of secure base script knowledge in 2 large samples. Results suggested that variation in secure base script knowledge-as measured by both the adolescent (N = 674) and adult (N = 714) versions of the Attachment Script Assessment-is generalized across relationships and continuously distributed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)823-830
Number of pages8
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Attachment
  • Attachment script assessment
  • Factor analysis
  • Secure base script knowledge
  • Taxometrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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