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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 55 (2013) 1, 9 - 19

New research

The relationship between DSM-IV axis II and the anaclitic and introjective personality dimensions

M. Descheemaeker, B. Lowyck, Y. Verhaest, P. Luyten, R. Vermote

background    In his psychodynamic theory of personality development, Blatt distinguishes between  an anaclitic  and an introjective cluster of psychological disorders. Whereas, in the past,  research in this area has focused mainly on depression, nowadays more and more attention is being  given to the relevance of this distinction for the theoretical conceptualisation  and treatment  of  personality disorders (pd).
aim    To examine the association between dsm-iv pd characteristics and the anaclitic and  introjective personality dimensions.
method    We conducted a cross-sectional study (n = 48) embedded in a five-year follow-up study  after psychodynamic treatment  for pd. We used multiple  linear-regression  analysis to investigate  the relationship between pd characteristics (scid-ii Personality Questionnaire) and the anaclitic  and introjective personality dimensions (Depressive Experiences Questionnaire), while controlling for the severity of the depression (Beck Depression  Inventory)  and  for the introjective and  anaclitic dimension, respectively.
results   There was evidence for a positive relationship  between the anaclitic  dimension and  dependent and borderline pd characteristics on the one hand and between the introjective dimension   and  avoidant,   obsessive-compulsive, passive-aggressive, depressive, paranoid, schizotypal and  narcissistic pd characteristics on the otherhand.
conclusion    Results are consistent with and  provide important  empirical support for Blatt’s assumptions concerning an anaclitic and an introjective  cluster of personality pathology.

keywords anaclitic, introjective, personality, personality disorders, psycho- dynamic