Child Category:           Secure

  • Have mother/caregiver who is consistently available, meets needs of child and has pleasurable interaction with child
  • Child trusts caregivers, turns to them for comfort and safety
  • Perceives self as lovable and has positive self-perception

Adult Category:           Autonomous:

  • Coherent, believable narrative about childhood experiences
  • Value relationships & turn to intimate others for comfort and security
  • Are self-reflective, accept that others have different perceptions
  • Adaptable, open, self-regulated
  • Positive and realistic view of self

 Child Category:           Anxious/Ambivalent :

  • Have mothers who are inconsistently available
  • Do not trust caregivers to be consistently available to offer comfort and security
  • Long for closeness
  • Manipulative, clingy, impulsive anger
  •  Unable to separate from caregiver & develop autonomy

Adult Category:           Preoccupied

  • Confusing childhood experience with mothers who were unpredictably available and unavailable
  • Overly dependent on close relationships
  • Seek approval from others and fear being devalued
  • Exhibit high levels of emotional intensity
  • Impulsive in reactions
  • View self as unworthy
  • View others as superior to them

Child Category:           Avoidant: 

  • Have mothers who are unavailable, hostile or indifferent
  • Learn to deny needs and feelings, avoid close relationships
  • appear independent
  • Believe they have to take care of them selves
  • May be caregivers, compliant and display only positive affect

Adult Category:           Dismissing :

  • Early history of rejection or neglect but deny importance on their development
  • Often idealize parents, have difficulty recalling details
  • Need to be independent, self-sufficient
  • Prefer not to depend on others
  • Focus more on activities to  avoid feelings and need for closeness
  • Suppress feelings
  • Distance themselves from others who may reject them.
  • View self as superior

Child Category:           Disorganized:

  • Have caregiver who is abusive or severely neglecting
  • Hypervigilant to abuse
  • Conflicted by drive to flee to parent for safety and flee from the parent who is source of alarm.
  • Respond with fight, flight, freeze
  • Do not have organized strategy to attach

Adult Category:           Unresolved:

  • In AAI describe confused & incoherent family histories
  • Have not resolved early trauma or loss
  • Perceive relationships as dangerous
  • May dissociate
  • View self as victim
  • May become aggressor to avoid feeling or victimization