An Investigation Of The Relationship Between Personality Patterns (obsessive-Hysterical) And Type Of Depressive Affect Organization (anaclitic-Introjective)

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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


The present study sought to extend our understanding of the concepts of anaclitic and introjective depressive affect organization (Blatt, 1974; Blatt et al., 1977, 1982). An attempt was made to correlate these forms of depressive affect organization with personality types which, theoretically, correspond to the developmental-structural levels postulated as underlying, respectively, anaclitic and introjective depression. It was hypothesized that a relationship may exist between anaclitic depressive affect organization and hysterical personality pattern, and between introjective depressive affect organization and obsessive personality pattern.Two measures were employed to assess the experimental variables (depression type and personality type). These were the Depressive Experiences Questionnaire (DEQ) and the Oral, Obsessive, Hysterical Personality Patterns Scale (OOHPPS). The DEQ (Blatt et al., 1977, Blatt et al., 1982) assesses the type of depressive experience along an anaclitic-introjective dimension. The OOHPPS (Lazare and Klerman, 1966) assesses personality type with respect to oral, obsessive, and hysterical categories. These two measures along with two control measures, a Demographics Questionnaire and Beck's Depression Inventory, were administered to a total of 74 male-female subjects. The respective groups (variables) were then analyzed using the Chi Square statistical procedure.Data analysis revealed no significant relationship between anaclitic depressive affect organization and hysterical personality pattern. The usual relationship of introjective depressive affect organization and obsessive personality pattern was not found in this sample. There was no significant relationship between sex and either of the two forms of depressive affect organization.Notable methodological problems with respect to the DEQ and OOHPPS measures were outlined and discussed. In addition, a conceptual difficulty with respect to the hysterical personality construct was pointed out and subjected to a lengthy critique. As a result the validity of the findings, which seem to contradict the central hypotheses of this study, were called into question.Methodological and conceptual correctives were outlined to provide a guide for future research. The viability and utility of the conceptual approach of this thesis were argued on the basis of the discussion and critique of the findings.


Psychology, Clinical

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