Adult attachment theory and Rorschach Inkblot method: a systematic literature review
This study systematically reviewed the association between the Rorschach Inkblot Method and attachment theory, to investigate whether empirical findings have found if responses from the Rorschach Inkblot Method can provide information on constructs of attachment theory. The motivation for this study is based on the fact that, although both the Rorschach Inkblot Method and attachment theory have been empirically explored separately, as well as regarding the various links between the two subjects, varying links between the two have been indicated (Shaver, Segal, Berant & Mikulincer, 2005). Therefore, the review aimed to find the most consistent, reliable and valid links between the Rorschach Inkblot Method and attachment theory, and it systematically and critically reviewed studies on the Rorschach Inkblot Method that measure the constructs of the attachment relationship or attachment representations (Shaver et al., 2005). The following objectives were set in order to reach the aim of the study which was to determine which variables of the Rorschach are associated with adult attachment constructs: Firstly, to critically review available literature concerning the association between the Rorschach Inkblot Method and attachment theory; and secondly, to critically review studies on the Rorschach Inkblot Method measure variables, that measure constructs of the attachment relationship or attachment representations. The question that guided this research was: How are variables in the Rorschach Inkblot Method associated with adult attachment theory constructs? Literature, specifically published between 1974 and 2015, relevant to the aim and question of the study was retrieved, while ignoring irrelevant literature. Data collection involved a search strategy, which entailed the selection of specific key or search words or terms; proposed resources such as databases and manual searches, as well as the formulation of inclusion and exclusion criteria. The researcher formulated the selection criteria to retrieve studies relevant to the research question in order to ensure that the research is comprehensive and specific, while excluding irrelevant research material. The first author, using the research question as well as the inclusion and exclusion criteria, systematically searched and selected relevant literature titles, followed by the selection of relevant abstracts from the selected titles and lastly the relevant full texts for the study. An independent reviewer followed the same steps. The lists of the selected titles, abstracts and texts were compared for consensus. Through critical appraisal, the selected articles were assessed for quality and relevance. In total, 17 Rorschach variables were identified in the nine studies with varying strengths in their associations with adult attachment. The most significant variables identified as linking with attachment were the texture response variable, the oral response and the Rorschach oral dependency. The studies' sample sizes ranged from single case studies to a medium sample size (n=224). A limitation of the studies was the fact that they all made use of Exner's Comprehensive System, which is not the latest Rorschach interpretation tool; in addition, all the studies used attachment assessment tools, which were self-report measures (Cassella & Viglione, 2009; Iwasa & Ogawa, 2010). Assessments of attachment are currently done through the use of the AAI and the AAP, which require specialized training that is expensive. The Rorschach is more accessible and versatile, and does not have cultural barriers and has been used in South Africa (Moletsane, 2004); therefore finding valid Rorschach variables that correlate with attachment constructs will have incredible implications on the practice and policy of Psychology.
- Health Sciences