Use of the adult attachment interview to measure process and change in psychotherapy

Howard Steele, Miriam Steele, Anne Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Scopus citations


The Adult Attachment Interview (AAI), developed and extensively tested in the domain of developmental psychology, has relevance to psychotherapy research. The authors compare and contrast the ways that social psychologists and developmental psychologists have operationalized the concept of attachment security and discuss corresponding implications for psychotherapy research. In addition, they provide an overview of the AAI and its development, reliability, and validation in developmental psychology and summarize recent work linking AAI responses with distinctive types of psychopathology. A summary of recent work showing the AAI to be a useful indicator of positive outcome in psychotherapy for adults with diverse problems, including depression, borderline personality disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder, is provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)633-643
Number of pages11
JournalPsychotherapy Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • Attachment
  • Outcome research
  • Process research
  • Process research
  • Psychoanalytic/psychodynamic therapy
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Use of the adult attachment interview to measure process and change in psychotherapy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this