Support for this research came in part from the National Institute of Mental Health grants (R01-MH62377 and R01-MH62378) to the second author.
Personalities of adults with traumatic childhood separations†
Version of Record online: 9 NOV 2011
© 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Clinical Psychology
Volume 67, Issue 12, pages 1259–1282, December 2011
How to Cite
Malone, J. C., Westen, D. and Levendosky, A. A. (2011), Personalities of adults with traumatic childhood separations. J. Clin. Psychol., 67: 1259–1282. doi: 10.1002/jclp.20844
- Issue online: 21 NOV 2011
- Version of Record online: 9 NOV 2011
- attachment disruptions;
- emotional dysregulation
Objectives: This study examined personality characteristics and identified personality subtypes of adults with childhood histories of traumatic separations from a parent. Previous work from attachment theory and developmental psychopathology suggests that distinct developmental trajectories might lead to different styles of personality adaptation after an attachment disruption. Design: Randomly selected psychologists and psychiatrists provided data on 203 adults with histories of traumatic separations using a personality pathology instrument designed for use by clinically experienced observers, the Shedler-Westen Assessment Procedure (SWAP-II). Results: Using a Q-factor analysis, 5 distinct personality subtypes were identified: internalizing/avoidant, psychopathic, emotionally dysregulated, hostile/paranoid, and resilient. Initial support for the validity of the subtypes was established, based on Axis I and Axis II pathology, adaptive functioning, developmental history, and family history variables. Conclusions: Both therapeutic interventions and case formulation might be strengthened by considering an individual's personality features and match to one of the identified subtypes. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol: In Session 67:1–24, 2011.