Informations and abstract
This paper summarizes the basic constructs of attachment theory and the life-span approach in the study of the development of intimate relationships and internal representations of caregivers and attachment. In this point of view, Internal Working Models of Attachment (IWM; Bowlby, 1973, 1980) are a key assumption for the assessment of this construct in adulthood. This essay offers a large analysis of this framework, in the light of recent advances and conceptualizations (Bretherton, 1988, 1991, 1992; Crittenden, 1997). In the second part, it describes the elective method in the assessment of attachment with adults, the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI; George, Kaplan, & Main, 1985), with an emphasis on its administration and classification methods (Main & Goldwyn, 1991, 1994). Finally, it offers a review on the AAI psychometric characteristics in the light of the recent research, suggesting positive and negative aspects of this method of assessment, and future utilization in clinical and normative samples, especially in the Italian context.