Composition and function of women’s attachment network in adulthood

TitleComposition and function of women’s attachment network in adulthood
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsCalvo V, Palmieri A, Codato M, Testoni I, Sambin M
JournalInterdisciplinary Journal of Family Studies
Date Published12/2012
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2282-2011
Keywordsattachment; attachment networks; attachment functions; women

The aim of this study was to explore the female attachment network’s
composition and to investigate the types of relationships that fulfill women’s
attachment needs and the relative strength of attachment to different figures in
different life situations. 251 adult women completed a modified version of the
Attachment Network Questionnaire –Revised (ANQ-R). Adult women without a
partner assigned the role of principal attachment figure to their best friend. About
one third of the participants did not transfer attachment from a figure inside to a
figure outside the family of origin. This percentage is higher for women without a
partner (46.8%) than for those with a partner (19.1%). Only a minority of the adult
women did not show a clear identifiable principal attachment figure. Within the
attachment network of women with a partner, we found that the partner is very
often the principal attachment figure. Understanding the attachment network of
women and identifying the specific principal attachment figure, could be useful to
plan psychological guidelines for the prevention and/or the treatment of intimate
partner violence and trauma.