Carnegie Mellon University

Adult Attachment


The Experiences in Close Relationship Scale (ECR) – Short Form



Copyright Information

Copyrighted.  To acquire permission for use, contact Taylor & Francis, publisher of the Journal of Personality Assessment (source article reference #1, below)

Primary References

1. Wei, M. , Russell, D. W., Mallinckrodt, B., & Vogel, D. L. (2007). The Experiences in Close Relationship Scale (ECR)-Short Form: Reliability, validity, and factor structureJournal of Personality Assessment, 88(2), 187-204.

2. Brennan, K. A., Clark, C. L., & Shaver, P. (1998). Self-report measurement of adult attachment (pp. 46-76). In J. A. Simpson & W. S. Rholes (Eds.), Attachment Theory and Close Relationships. New York: Guilford.

3. Fraley, R. C., Waller, N. G., & Brennan, K. A. (2000). An item response theory analysis of self-report measures of adult attachmentJournal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78(2), 350-365.


“To assess the extent to which individuals exhibit two types of adult attachment orientations:  anxious and avoidant.”

Type of Measure

Modified. The ECR was designed to measure adult attachment orientation specifically toward relationships with romantic partners.  For PCS3, the wording of several items was altered so that the scale would measure attachment orientation toward close relationships in general.


Using a 7-point discreet visual analog scale, participants indicate the extent to which they agree that each of several self-referent statements accurately describes how they generally feel about important interpersonal relationships.  Specific instructions ask respondents to think about “past and present relationships with people who have been especially important…such as spouses and close friends.”


1 = Disagree Strongly, 7 = Agree Strongly

Number of Items


Sample Items from Modified ECR

  • “I am very uncomfortable being close to people.”
  • “I worry a fair amount about losing close relationships.”


In undergraduate students (Wei et al., 2007)

Internal consistencies (6 samples ranging from n = 65 to n = 851)

  • Avoidance, Cronbach’s α = 0.78 – 0.88
  • Anxiety, Cronbach’s α = 0.77 – 0.86

Test-retest reliability (4 weeks; n = 122)

  • Avoidance, r = 0.83
  • Anxiety, r = 0.80

In PCS3 (n = 213)

Internal consistency

  • Avoidance, Cronbach’s α = 0.89
  • Anxiety, Cronbach’s α = 0.83


Avoidance Dimension Score
Anxiety Dimension Score