Sociotropy, autonomy, and patterns of symptoms in patients with major depression: A comparison of dimensional and categorical approaches
The purposes of this study were: (a) to investigate the relations between the Personal Style Inventory (PSI) measures of sociotropy and autonomy and symptoms of psychopathology in depressed patients (n = 103), and (b) to compare the relative utility of categorical and dimensional approaches to differentiating depressed patients on the basis of sociotropy and autonomy. Sociotropy was related to interpersonal sensitivity, guilt and self-blame, and symptoms suggesting anxious depression or high negative affectivity. Autonomy was related to interpersonal distance and hostility, hopelessness/suicidality, feelings of failure, and anhedonia, suggesting low positive affectivity. These results provide support for the relevance of sociotropy and autonomy to depression and for the construct validity of the PSI. Cluster analysis did not identify clear categorical groups of participants, and differences between the most interpretable groups on symptoms could be predicted from the dimensional sociotropy and autonomy scores, suggesting no incremental utility of a categorical approach to these personality variables over a dimensional one. © 1997 Plenum Publishing Corporation.
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