Adolescent Assessment of Attachment - Adolescent Attachment Interview
The Adolescent Attachment Interview is a procedure for assessing older adolescents’ and young adults’ strategies for identifying, preventing, and protecting the self from perceived dangers, particularly dangers tied to intimate relationships. The assessment uses a modified version of the Adult Attachment Interview (George, Kaplan, & Main, 1986, 1996). The modification is designed to address the competencies and salient issues of young adults during the transition to adulthood (~16-25 years). Specifically, it assumes that young adults still turn, in part, to their childhood figures for protection, psychological comfort, and/or financial support while concurrently developing attachment relationships with peer partners and financial independence. Further, it assumes that cortical maturation is still in progress, but that it permits abstract thought, particularly about relationships in the present. The course offered by Dr. Crittenden is based on the Dynamic-maturational model that expands Bowlby-Ainsworth theory (Crittenden, 1995, 2000, 2002) and the DMM extension of the Main and Goldwyn coding method (Crittenden, 1999; Crittenden, 1998-present). The DMM approach to the Adolescent Attachment Interview (TAAI) is both a useful research tool and also a potential guide for psychotherapists. Therapists, in particular, learn not only new ways to conceptualize disturbed development, but also ways to identify young adults' distortions of the mental processing of information, particularly information relevant to disorders of feelings, thought, and behavior. The techniques for interpreting speech can be useful even if the therapist does not formally use the interview itself in practice.