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Levels of relatedness and self-definition in young adults

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Subtitle:associations with psychopathology and interpersonal functioning
The Differentiation-Relatedness Scale (DRS) is a reliable and valid 10-level scale designed to rate levels of personality functioning on narrative descriptions of self and significant others. However, to date, most studies of the DRS have been done in clinical samples. Little is known about its psychometric properties in nonclinical samples. This study examined linear and potential categorical relationships of DRS with demographic features and with indices of intrapersonal and interpersonal functioning (i.e.. depressive and dissociative symptoms, dependent and self-critical personality features, and warmth, conflict, and depth of intimate relationships), in a nonclinical sample of young adults (N = 333). It also investigated the unidimensionality of the DRS in the relationships between the level of self-representation (DR-S) and representation of the mother (DR-M) and father (DR-F). and the relationship of DR-S with disruptions in the balance between differentiation and relatedness assumed to underlie low levels of DR-S. Results showed little evidence for dimensional relationships between levels of DRS and indices of intrapersonal and interpersonal functioning. By contrast, a cut-off of DRS level 6 clearly differentiated young adults at risk for psychopathology from those with more adaptive levels of functioning. Moreover, the DRS seems not to be a unidimensional scale. The implications of these findings for future research and the clinical use of the DRS are discussed.
Journal: Psychoanalytic Psychology
ISSN: 0736-9735
Volume: 37
Pages: 232 - 240
Publication year:2020