Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology


The present study addresses the degree of relationship between adult attachment styles, as assigned by attachment theory, and personality disorders, as delineated by Masterson's developmental self and object relations theory. Relationships between the avoidant-dismissive attachment style and characteristics of the exhibiting narcissistic personality disorder, between the preoccupied attachment style and the borderline personality disorder, and between the avoidantfearful attachment style and the schizoid and avoidant personality disorders were anticipated. Eighty-six individuals involved in the Access Program in Spokane, Washington participated in the study. Thirty-four psychology students at George Fox University also participated in the study as a control group. Participants were asked to complete a packet of materials including a brief demographic questionnaire, the Relationship Questionnaire (Bartholomew & Horowitz, 1991 ), the Relationship Scales Questionnaire (Griffin and Bartholomew, 1994), the Bell Object Relations and Reality Testing Inventory (Bell, 1995), and the Roberts Relationship Inventory, (D. Roberts personal communication, July, 1996) an instrument developed by graduates of the Masterson Institute's post graduate training program. Results supported this study's hypotheses most prominently in the relationship between attachment theory's "secure" style and Masterson's "healthy" response style, and attachment theory's avoidant fearful style and Masterson's schizoid personality disorder. A thorough discussion of the findings is included.

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