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Development and Validation of the Social Thermoregulation and Risk Avoidance Questionnaire (STRAQ-1)

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Description: Attachment theory was built around the idea that infants rely on others to survive, and often, forgotten, that survival hinged on coping with environmental demands. Adult attachment reports have instead been organized around people’s subjective experience of safety and security in relationships. To resolve the gap between infant’s physical needs and adult attachment experiences, we developed the Social Thermoregulation and Risk Avoidance Questionnaire (STRAQ-1) in 12 countries (N=1510), providing a complementary measure to identify biological drives formative to attachment. We conjectured that co-regulatory patterns of temperature and stress are foundational to attachment styles and on this basis used a naïve bootstrapping method to find a robust solution, conducting seven exploratory factor analyses in an exploratory-confirmatory fashion. We identified 23 (out of 57) items in 4 subscales: Social Thermoregulation (Omega =.83), High Temperature Sensitivity (.83), Solitary Thermoregulation (.77), and Risk Avoidance (.57). The STRAQ-1 relates to emotion regulation strategies broadly and, importantly, predicts individual differences in attachment specifically, which in turn mediates the relationship with stress and health. Our approach provides a robust solution in identifying biological mechanisms underlying attachment formation.

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