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ASQQ - Attachment Style Classification Questionnaire

The Attachment Style Classification Questionnaire is a 15-item self-report questionnaire based on the Hebrew version (Hazan & Shaver, 1987) of the Attachment Questionnaire (AQ). The AQ was modified to assess familial and extrafamilial relationships and yields scores on three attachment categories: 1) Secure, 2) Anxious/Ambivalent, and 3) Avoidant. Children are given an attachment classification based on the highest scores they
receive in a category.




Finzi, Ricky, Har-Even, D., Weizman, A., Tyano, S., & Shnit, D.

Finzi, R., Har-Even, D., Weizman, A., Tyano, S., & Shnit, D. (1996). The adaptation of the attachment styles questionnaire for latency-aged children. Psychologia: Israel Journal of Psychology, 5(2), 167-177.

Domain Assessed: 
Externalizing Symptoms
Subcategories of Domains Assessed: 
Age Range: 
Measure Type: 
Measure Format: 


Number of Items: 
Average Time to Complete (min): 
Reporter Type: 
Average Time to Score (min): 
Not specified
Materials Needed: 
Information Provided: 
Areas of Concern/Risks
Continuous Assessment
Raw Scores


Training to Interpret: 
Prior Experience in Psych Testing/Interpretation

Parallel or Alternate Forms

Parallel Forms: 
Alternate Forms: 
Different Age Forms: 
Altered Version Forms: 
Alternative Forms Description: 

As noted, the Attachment Style Questionnaire is an adapted version of the Attachment Questionnaire (AQ), a single-tem measure of attachment patterns in adults (Hazan & Shaver, 1987). The original AQ has been adapted for use with children by other authors. Muris, P., Meesters, M., van Melick, M., & Zwambag, L. (2001) developed the Attachment Questionnaire for Children (AQC), a 1-item version based on the original version. The AQC is also reviewed in this database.


Test-Retest- # daysAcceptable0.870.95
Internal ConsistencyAcceptableAlpha0.690.81
Parallel/Alternate Forms
References for Reliability: 

Psychometrics were reported in the abstract of Finzi, Har-Even, Weizman, Tyano, & Shnit (1996), but the article could not be directly reviewed, as it is in Hebrew. In the sample, described under “Population Used to Develop Measure,” internal consistency for the scales ranged from .69-.81. Two-week test-retest reliability was reported as .87-.95. In another study that included an Israeli sample of 98 children with learning disorders and 107 typically developing children, Al-Yagon and Mikulincer (2004) reported internal consistencies ranging from .64-.73 for the 3 factors.

References for Content Validity: 

Items are derived from the Attachment Questionnaire, a widely used measure of adult attachment.

Construct Validity: 
Validity TypeNot knownNot foundNonclinical SamplesClinical SamplesDiverse Samples
Sensitive to Change
Intervention Effects
Longitudinal/Maturation Effects
Sensitive to Theoretically Distinct GroupsYesYes
Factorial ValidityYes
References for Construct Validity: 

n a sample of elementary school children, children characterized as secure had lower scores on depression (Children’s Depression Inventory, CDI) and anxiety (Trait anxiety scale of the State-Trait Anxiety Scale for Children) than did children characterized as Avoidant or Anxious/Ambivalent (Finzi et al., 1996).

The measure has been found to differentiate between learning disordered and typically developing children (Al-Yagon & Mukulincer, 2004), with 73% of typically developing children classified as having a secure attachment style and 45% of learning disordered children similarly classified. Learning disordered children reported significantly less security and more avoidance and anxiety in their close relationships.

Scores on the Attachment Style Questionnaire were related to children’s ratings of competence including loneliness (Loneliness and Social Dissatisfaction Questionnaire: Security: r=-.52, p<.01; Avoidance: r=.38, p<.01; Anxiety: r=.39, p<.01). They were also significantly correlated in the expected direction to teacher’s ratings of the student’s academic functioning and of their relationship with the student, assessed using the Teacher Assessment of Student Academic Functioning and Student-Teacher Relationship Scale, respectively).


Finzi et al. (2002) report that a principal component factor analysis with varimax rotation yielded 3 factors with eigen values > 1. Factor loadings ranged from .40-.55.

Summaries regarding a confirmatory factor analysis are reported in multiple papers (e.g., Finzi, Ram, Har-Even, Shnit, & Weizman, 2001). The authors report that loadings on the Avoidant style were > .50 in all cases. For the Anxious/Ambivalent style, 2 items had factor loadings >.40 and the other 3 had loadings >.50. For the Secure style, 2 items (10, 15) had low loadings, and the other three had loadings >.40.


  1. Finzi, Ram, Har-Even, Shnit, & Weizman (2001) examined differences between physically abused (n=41), neglected (n=38), and nonabused/nonneglected children (n=35) aged 6-12. Sexually abused children were excluded from the study. As evidence of validity, the nonabused group scored highest on the secure factor, followed by the neglected group, and then the physically abused group. The physically abused group had significantly higher scores on the Avoidant factor than did the other two groups. The neglected group had significantly higher scores on the Anxious/Ambivalent factors. Chi-square analyses of classification types revealed that physically abused children (85.4%) were more likely to have an Avoidant style; neglected children (73.7%) were more likely to have a predominantly Anxious/avoidant style; and the nonabused/nonneglected group (68.6%) was more likely to have a secure attachment style. The physically abused group had higher scores on aggressive behavior, assessed using the Child Suicidal Potential Scales (CSPS); Assaultive behavior, Aggression, Antisocial behavior, and Impulsiveness). Scores on the Secure factor were negatively correlated with Aggression scales (range: -.37 to -.52), and scores on the Avoidant factor were positively correlated with Aggression scales (range: .40 to .62). Scores on the Anxious/Ambivalent factor were not significantly correlated with aggression variables.
  2. Using what appears to be the same sample, Finzi et al. (2002) reported that nonabused children had significantly lower scores on depressive anxiety and negative affect (CDI and CSPS) than did physically abused or neglected children. Physically abused children had higher scores on aggression and suicidality, assessed using the Children’s Suicidal Potential Scales for Aggression (Finzi et al., 1996; Finzi et al., 2002).
  3. Finzi, Cohen, Sapir, & Weizman (2000) examined attachment styles in different groups of children: children of drug-using fathers (n=76), physically abused children (n=41), neglected children (n=38), and nonabused/nonneglected children (n=35). Compared to the other three groups, physically abused children had significantly lower scores on the Secure factor and the highest score on the Avoidant factor. Neglected children were significantly higher than did other children on the Anxious/Ambivalent factor.
Criterion Validity: 
Not KnownNot FoundNonclinical SamplesClinical SamplesDiverse Samples
Predictive Validity:
Postdictive Validity:
Overall Psychometric Limitations: 
  1. The three studies examining different populations (e.g., abused, neglected, nonabused/neglected) appear to have used the same sample. Results are supportive of the validity of the measure, but additional research with other samples would provide additional support.
  2. All research has been conducted with children in Israel.


Translation Quality: 
Language:TranslatedBack TranslatedReliableGood PsychometricsSimilar Factor StructureNorms AvailableMeasure Developed for this Group
1. HebrewYesYesYesNoYes

Population Information

Population Used for Measure Development: 

The psychometrics of the measure were first examined with 232 elementary school children from Israel, 50% boys and 50% girls, aged 6 to 12 (M=9.2, SD=2.1). Children were assessed in Hebrew. No additional demographics on the sample were available. (Finzi, Har-Even, Weizman, Tyano, & Shnit, 1996: Note – The article was in Hebrew, so this information is presented from the translated abstract and later articles.)

Populations with which Measure Has Demonstrated Reliability and Validity: 
Physical Abuse
Use with Diverse Populations: 
Population TypeMeasure Used with Members of this GroupMembers of this Group Studied in Peer-Reviewed JournalsReliableGood PsychometricsNorms AvailableMeasure Developed for this Group
1. Below average intellectual abilitiesYesYesUnkUnkUnkNo

Pros & Cons/References

  1. The measure is brief.
  2. It taps a conceptually important domain for the field of child trauma.
  3. In comparison to another measure of attachment (the Attachment Questionnaire for Children), which was also derived from the adult Attachment Questionnaire, this measure yields continuous scores on three scales, which might be useful for treatment outcome research.
  4. The measure has been used with samples of abused and neglected children, with physically abused children typically showing higher pathology.
  1. While the psychometrics are promising, additional studies with more samples of children are needed. Research examining the sensitivity of the measure to change resulting from intervention would be helpful. In addition, if the measure is to be used with clinical populations, examination of its internal consistency and test-retest reliability in clinical populations would be important.
  2. Children are classified into attachment categories based on their highest score on a scale. Data are not provided regarding whether children tend to score high on only one category and whether children who score high on multiple categories constitute a different group.
  3. Psychometrics appear to have been examined only with Hebrew-speaking populations. More research is needed examining its use with other language and ethnic/racial groups.

A PsychInfo search (7/05) for “Attachment Style Classification Questionnaire" anywhere revealed the measure has been referenced in 2 peer-reviewed journal articles. While conducting the review we identified three additional published articles plus one in press. The articles are listed below.

Al-Yagon, M., & Mikulincer, M. (2004). Socioemotional and Academic Adjustment Among Children with Learning Disorders: The Mediational Role of Attachment-Based Factors. Journal of Special Education, 38 (2), 111-123.

Finzi-Dottan, R., Cohen, O., Iwaniec, D., Sapir, Y., & Weizman, A. (in press). The child in the family of a drug-user father: Attachment styles and family cohesion and adaptability. Social Work Practice in the Addictions.

Finzi, R., Cohen, O., Sapir, Y., & Weizman, A. (2000). Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 31(2), 113-128.

Finzi, R., Har-Even, D., Shnit, D., & Weizman, A. (2002). Psychosocial characterization of physically abused children from low socioeconomic households in comparison to neglected and nonmaltreated children. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 11(4), 441-453.

Finzi, R., Ram, A., Har-Even, D., Shnit, D., & Weizman, A. (2001). Attachment styles and aggression in physically abused and neglected children. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 30(6), 769-786.


Hazan, C., & Shaver, P. (1987). Romantic love conceptualized as an attachment process. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52(3), 511-524.

Developer of Review: 
Chandra Ghosh Ippen, Ph.D.
Editor of Review: 
Chandra Ghosh Ippen, Ph.D.
Last Updated: 
Monday, March 17, 2014