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Relationship between the Social Cognition and Object Relations Scale (SCORS) and attachment style in a clinical sample

By Michelle B. Stein, Caleb J. Siefert, Rosemarie Vala Stewart and Mark J. Hilsenroth


This present study examined the relationship between the Social Cognition and Object Relations Scale (SCORS) and two measures of adult attachment: the Relationship Questionnaire (RQ) and the Experiences in Close Relationships Questionnaire‐Revised (ECR‐R). Forty‐five patients (76% female) at a university‐based outpatient treatment clinic participated in this study. We hypothesized that higher levels of attachment security would be associated with higher, more adaptive ratings on the SCORS variables. Results indicated that the SCORS Self‐Esteem (SE) variable was significantly positively related to the RQ's Secure Attachment ratings and negatively related with the ECR‐R's Anxious Attachment scale. Additionally, negative trends were noted between SE and the RQ's Fearful and Preoccupied Attachment scores. The SCORS Emotional Investments in Relationships and Affective Quality of Representations variables were associated with higher Secure scores and lower, more maladaptive Preoccupied scores on the RQ. It was also associated with greater attachment anxiety as measured by the ECR‐R. Using both clinician (SCORS) and participant‐rated measures (ECR‐R and RQ), this study provides further understanding on how object representations and attachment style relate within a clinical sample. Results are discussed in light of prior research examining relationships between object relations and adult attachments, and clinical implications are also reviewed. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Key Practitioner Message: • Individuals with higher levels of attachment anxiety may enter therapy with more self‐image problems. • Individuals with higher levels of attachment anxiety may enter therapy with more maladaptive expectations about relationships. • Patients who endorse high levels of attachment anxiety (e.g., fearful and preoccupied) may be more likely to present with Axis II complaints. • Examining a patient's attachment style and object relations using different measures of assessment (e.g., explicit and implicit) can help gain a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of a patient

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1002/cpp.721
OAI identifier:

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