The current study developed a psychometrically optimized measure of mindful attentive relationship awareness.
Items of existing scales (e.g., the Relationship Awareness Scale; RAS; the Relationship Mindfulness Measure; RMM) were combined with items written by the authors to create a pool of 54 items given to online samples of 2109 and 1752 participants. Using correlational analyses and item response theory, we developed the Attentive Awareness in Relationships Scale (AAIRS).
Results suggested that the AAIS measures the construct of relationship awareness comprised of two distinct facets: attentive awareness and inattention/distraction. The AAIRS demonstrated convergent and discriminant validity with existing measures (e.g., relationship communication/talk, trait mindfulness) and offered researchers higher precision and power for detecting differences among individuals. The AAIRS demonstrated adequate internal consistency across a wide range of demographic subgroups and displayed strict measurement invariance across genders, relationship stages, and current meditation frequencies. Bifactor analyses highlighted that the subscales of the AAIRS shared a large proportion of common variance, supporting the use of a total score to represent mindful attentive relationship awareness. However, the bifactor analyses also revealed unique variance associated with each subscale, and longitudinal analyses suggested that those facets of relationship awareness changed fairly independently across time and were both uniquely linked to corresponding change in relationship satisfaction, suggesting the possibility that each of the AAIRS subscales might also contribute novel explanatory variance (i.e., incremental validity).
The AAIRS offers researchers and clinicians a psychometrically-optimized tool for assessing the construct of relationship awareness.