Italian adaptation of the brief modified experiences in close relationships scale in a sample of cancer patients: factor analysis and clinical implications

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Davide Ghirardello
Jacopo Munari *
Silvia Testa
Riccardo Torta
Fabio Veglia
Cristina Civilotti
(*) Corresponding Author:
Jacopo Munari |


Many previous studies have indicated that the attachment pattern developed during infancy shapes the adult attachment style, which in turn affects responses to stress and help-seeking behaviors. It may be relevant within clinical contexts to have easy-to-administer and rapid tools aimed to investigate attachment dimensions. The current study presents the Italian adaptation of the Brief Modified Experiences in Close Relationships (ECR-M16) – a self-reported measure of the attachment-style dimensions with reference to close others – and assesses its factorial structure. The questionnaire was administered to cancer outpatients. The number of factors to be extracted was calculated via parallel analysis. Subsequently, an exploratory factor analysis was run to calculate the first-order factor structure, which was compared to the original one via Procrustes rotation and Tucker’s coefficient. Finally, a second-order factor structure was calculated by factor analyzing the first-order factor scores. The Italian adaptation of the ECR-M16 is characterized by a first-order factor structure comprising four factors, like the original. The degree of similarity between the two ranges between fair and dissimilar. The second-order factor structure comprises two higher order dimensions, like in the original study. Although partially similar, the two second-order factor structures show relevant differences. A clinically oriented discussion centered on the similarities and differences between the two factor structures is provided, along with indications for future studies.

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