Psychometric properties of the Italian version of the Experience in Close Relationship Scale 12 (ECR-12): an exploratory structural equation modeling study

  • Agostino Brugnera | agostino.brugnera@unibg.it Department of Human and Social Sciences, University of Bergamo, Bergamo, Italy. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4066-4552
  • Cristina Zarbo Department of Human and Social Sciences, University of Bergamo, Bergamo, Italy.
  • Benedetto Farina Department of Human Sciences, European University of Rome, Rome, Italy.
  • Angelo Picardi Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.
  • Andrea Greco Department of Human and Social Sciences, University of Bergamo, Bergamo, Italy.
  • Gianluca Lo Coco Department of Psychology, Educational Sciences and Human Movement, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.
  • Giorgio A Tasca School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada.
  • Samantha Carlucci School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada.
  • Adalberto Auteri Department of Human and Social Sciences, University of Bergamo, Bergamo, Italy.
  • Francesco Greco Private Practice, Bologna, Italy.
  • Angelo Compare Department of Human and Social Sciences, University of Bergamo, Bergamo, Italy.

Abstract

The Experiences in Close Relationship Scale (ECR) is one of the most commonly used self-report instruments of adult attachment and has been widely adopted in psychotherapy research. Composed of two subscales, namely Attachment Avoidance and Anxiety, the ECR was recently shortened to a 12-items version, called the ECR-12. Given the importance of extending knowledge on its applicability in understudied populations, our aim was to validate the ECR-12 in a large sample of Italian native-speakers. A total of 1197 participants (73.2% females; mean age=28.53±11.37 years) completed the ECR-12. Each participant also completed other measures of attachment, psychopathology, interpersonal distress, coping strategies, and well-being. An Exploratory Structural Equation Modeling analysis showed an excellent fit of the data, providing support for the two-dimensional orthogonal structure of the ECR-12. In addition, the measurement model was invariant across genders. Both attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance subscales demonstrated good internal reliability, with McDonald’s Omegas and Cronbach’s Alphas above the suggested 0.8 cut-off. Finally, the Italian version of ECR-12 showed adequate convergent, concurrent, and divergent validity. Highly anxious individuals reported the highest levels of maladaptive interpersonal functioning and coping strategies, resulting in lower well-being. Interestingly, both attachment insecurity dimensions predicted higher levels of psychopathology, even after controlling for demographic variables and levels of self-reported relational difficulties. Given the good psychometric properties of the ECR-12, researchers and practitioners in Italy are encouraged to adopt the ECR-12 in their future research on adult attachment in psychotherapy.

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Published
2019-12-20
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Keywords:
Attachment anxiety; Attachment avoidance; ECR- 12; Psychological distress; Coping styles
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How to Cite
Brugnera, A., Zarbo, C., Farina, B., Picardi, A., Greco, A., Lo Coco, G., Tasca, G. A., Carlucci, S., Auteri, A., Greco, F., & Compare, A. (2019). Psychometric properties of the Italian version of the Experience in Close Relationship Scale 12 (ECR-12): an exploratory structural equation modeling study. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome, 22(3). https://doi.org/10.4081/ripppo.2019.392