Patricia Hastings, PsyD, is a 2021 graduate of the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program at Antioch University, Seattle.

Dissertation Committee

Michael Sakuma, PhD, Committee Chair

Christopher L. Heffner, PsyD, PhD, Committee Member

Susan Spieker, PhD, Committee Member


Adult Attachment Interview (AAI), attachment theory, Berkeley system, Dynamic-Maturational Model (DMM), Early Head Start, mothers, quantitative, validity

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Research on the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) provides an opportunity to study the ways in which early childhood relational experiences might influence an individual over a lifetime. It is not yet clear, however, whether results from different coding systems for the AAI are equally useful. The first purpose of this study was to compare attachment classification distributions obtained from coding AAIs with the Berkeley and Dynamic-Maturational Model (DMM) coding systems. The second purpose was to explore whether AAI classifications derived from the Berkeley or DMM system were more strongly associated with mother and mother-child dyad outcome variables. Participants were a subset of 45 women from the national Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project (EHSREP), 1996-2010 sample, and archival data from that research project was used for this study. AAI transcripts were classified using both the Berkeley and DMM coding methods. Attachment classification distributions from the two systems were evaluated for associations with (a) each other and (b) outcome variables. (A) A significant association was found between the attachment security or insecurity distributions resulting from the Berkeley and DMM coding systems. No other significant associations were found for distribution comparisons made (e.g., presence of unresolved trauma and/or loss or the combination of both dismissing and preoccupied attachment). (B) Significant associations were found between the Berkeley three-category "forced" attachment classification distribution and Maternal Depression, the Berkeley four-category main attachment classification distribution and Maternal Parenting Distress, and the Berkeley presence or absence of a combination of dismissing and preoccupied attachment distribution and Regular Bedtime Routine. No other associations between Berkeley or DMM attachment distributions and outcome variables were significant. Limitations to this study were noted and further research recommended. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA, and Ohio Link ETD Center,


Patricia Hastings, PsyD, 2021

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0002-8196-317X