Perspectives on Early Childhood Psychology and Education

Submission Type



Sensitive, consistent caregiving and a secure attachment style are important to healthy child development. However, the lack of continuity in measures from infancy into adulthood limits conclusions regarding the stability of attachment styles across the lifespan. A new measure, the Emotional Attachment Zones Evaluation (EA-Z), derived from the Emotional Availability Scales (Biringen, 2008; Biringen, Robinson, & Emde, 1998), offers a tool to assess attachment style across a broad developmental spectrum. In order to validate this measure as an attachment style measure, we used three studies to compare the EA-Z to empirically validated attachment tools. In study 1, we compared the EA-Z to the Strange Situation Procedure. There was moderate concordance between these two measures for both mother and infant. In study 2, we compared the EA-Z to the Attachment Q-Sort in an infant/toddler childcare setting. Child EA-Z scores related to child attachment security, whereas teacher EA-Z scores did not relate to child attachment security. Finally, in study 3, we compared the EA-Z to the mother’s Adult Attachment Interview. Results indicated moderate concordance between these measures, both for the adult mother and the preschool child. All three of these studies offer promising evidence for the validity of the EA-Z as an attachment tool, as well as future directions for research and practice using the EA System.