A Comprehensive Analysis Of The Discriminant And External Validity, Normative Properties, And Theoretical Contributions Of The Separation-Individuation Test Of Adolescence

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




This study evaluates the discriminant and external validity and normative properties of the eight scales of the Separation-Individuation Test of Adolescence (SITA), an objective inventory previously developed by the author (Levine, 1984; Levine, Green & Millon, 1986) to assess various dimensions of the adolescent separation-individuation process. One hundred twenty clinical subjects were administered the SITA and the Millon Adolescent Personality Inventory (MAPI). Their clinicians completed a rating scale of separation-individuation dimensions, a rating scale of narcissistic and borderline pathology subtypes, and they reported patient's DSM-III, Axis I and II diagnoses.External validity was evaluated by comparison of clinician ratings of separation-individuation dimensions with SITA scores as well as analysis of the relationship between MAPI and SITA scales. Discriminant validity was evaluated by the SITA's ability to identify unique and meaningful score patterns for each MAPI personality group consistent with results of a previous study, as well as for each subgroup of narcissistic and borderline pathology derived from clinician ratings. The SITA normative properties were evaluated through analysis of the age and sex trends of SITA scale scores.There was substantial external and discriminant (and therefore construct) validity obtained from the correlations between the SITA and MAPI, especially as these replicated an earlier study's findings. The clinician ratings of separation-individuation were statistically supportive of three SITA scales and directionally supportive of the other scales. There was minimal discriminant validity among the ratings of narcissistic and borderline pathology. The implications of the results for the understanding of adolescent development, personality and psychopathology are emphasized in the Discussion Section.


Psychology, Clinical

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