Assessment of Rorschach dependency measures in female inpatients diagnosed with borderline personality disorder

James Chris Fowler, Benjamin Brunnschweiler, Stephanie Swales, Johanna Brock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The psychometric properties and predictive validity of the Dependency Index (DI; Hilsenroth & Bornstein, 2002) and the Rorschach Oral Dependency Scale (ROD; Masling, Rabie, & Blondheim, 1967) were examined to determine if these implicit measures of dependency predict observable attachment-seeking behavior in 66 female inpatients diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Results indicate that both scales produce excellent reliability estimates. The DI and ROD yield adequate base rates, and the distributions of scores approximate normal distributions. The DI was predictive of nursing staff observation of positive attachment/treatment compliance (r = .28, p = .02) but not excessive isolation. By contrast, the ROD predicted positive attachment/treatment compliance (r = .38, p = .002) and excessive isolation (r = -.35, p = .004). Texture responses predicted excessive isolation (r = -.25, p = .05). Discriminant validity was supported when neither dependency measure predicted hostile interactions or self-destructive behaviors. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that the ROD demonstrated incremental validity over the DI and select Comprehensive System (Exner, 1993) variables associated with dependency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-153
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Personality Assessment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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