Disorganized Attachment in Adulthood: Theory, Measurement, and Implications for Romantic Relationships Academic Article uri icon


  • 2015 American Psychological Association. Disorganized attachment has been studied extensively in the developmental attachment literature, particularly with regard to infants and children. It has not been studied from a social psychological perspective in adulthood. In this article we contribute to the social psychology literature by beginning to explore the meaning and consequences of disorganized attachment for adults. Based on the literature on disorganization in infants, childhood, and adolescence, we develop a dimensional measure for assessing disorganization in adults and demonstrate that it predicts similar internalizing symptoms and externalizing behaviors to those observed in children and adolescents. Thus, this scale instrument should provide social psychologists with a means to assess disorganization in adulthood and begin to look at its consequences for romantic relationships. We discuss some of those potential consequences, thereby providing avenues for future research.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 33

author list (cited authors)

  • Paetzold, R. L., Rholes, W. S., & Kohn, J. L.

citation count

  • 59

complete list of authors

  • Paetzold, Ramona L||Rholes, W Steven||Kohn, Jamie L

publication date

  • January 2015