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