Objective: Attachment insecurity is a potential risk factor for the development and maintenance of eating disorders (EDs). To date, there are multiple psychometrically sound questionnaires for the evaluation of attachment in both clinical and healthy populations, such as the Experience in Close Relationships (ECR) scale. Composed by two subscales (i.e., attachment anxiety and avoidance), the ECR scale was recently adapted to a shorter, 12-item version (ECR-12). However, a validation of the ECR-12 among patients with EDs is still lacking. The present study sought to investigate the psychometric properties of the ECR-12, when used in a treatment-seeking sample with EDs. Method: A total of 1,262 treatment-seeking patients with various ED diagnoses completed the ECR-12, together with a commonly used measure of ED psychopathology (Eating Disorder Inventory-2). Subsamples also completed the Attachment Style Questionnaire (n = 66) or underwent a Day Hospital Program (n = 128). Results: A multigroup confirmatory factor analysis indicated that the ECR-12 maintained its two-factor structure across the ED diagnostic groups. In addition, the scale demonstrated good convergent validity, internal consistency, concurrent, and incremental validity. Finally, both ECR-12 subscales demonstrated adequate test–retest reliability. Discussion: Our results provide preliminary evidence of the psychometric properties of ECR-12 in assessing attachment anxiety and avoidance among patients with EDs. This short scale could help clinicians tailor interventions for EDs that take into account attachment dimensions.

Additional Metadata
Keywords assessment, attachment, eating disorders, ECR-12, experience in close relationship scale
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1002/eat.22807
Journal International Journal of Eating Disorders
Citation
Tasca, G.A. (Giorgio A.), Brugnera, A. (Agostino), Baldwin, D. (Danielle), Carlucci, S. (Samantha), Compare, A. (Angelo), Balfour, L. (Louise), … Lafontaine, M.-F. (Marie-France). (2018). Reliability and validity of the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale-12: Attachment dimensions in a clinical sample with eating disorders. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 51(1), 18–27. doi:10.1002/eat.22807