OBJECT REPRESENTATION, EGO DEVELOPMENT STAGE AND INPATIENT GROUP PSYCHOTHERAPY (SCHIZOPHRENIA, PREMORBID ADJUSTMENT)
GROSS, CHARLES BENNETT
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This study investigated the relationship between schizophrenic inpatients' developmental level and the quality of their engagement with their group therapist during the first week of inpatient treatment. Developmental level was assessed in three ways--through stage of ego development, premorbid social adjustment, and level of object representation. Significant sex differences were found in the relationship of patients' developmental level to quality of engagement.;For females, level of object representation was strongly related to both the therapists' and patients' perceptions of a positive therapeutic relationship. In addition, female patients' perception of the quality of the relationship was significantly related to their therapists' perception of the relationship.;For the male subjects, level of object representation was not related to either the patients' or the therapists' perception of the therapeutic relationship. In addition, male subjects' experience of the therapeutic relationship was unrelated to their therapists' perception of the relationship.;Stage of ego development and premorbid social adjustment were, for both males and females, poor predictors of the positiveness of the therapeutic relationship.;That level of object representation was, for females, more highly correlated with a positive therapeutic relationship than either stage of ego development or premorbid adjustment suggests that female patients' level of object representation may be a more accurate reflection of their interpersonal capacities. It is possible that the sex differences reflect: (1) different subtypes of schizophrenics, (2) an interaction between the sex of the patient and a sex linked task (interpersonal relatedness), or (3) general sex differences that are seen across a wide variety of behaviors.