The present study investigated the reliability and construct validity of a behavioral observation coding system of emotional overinvolvement (EOI), an index of intrusive, excessively self-sacrificing, or exaggeratedly emotional behavior displayed by the relative of a psychiatric patient. Separate behavioral ratings of relatives' intrusiveness, excessive self-sacrifice, and exaggerated emotional response were generated from 10-min problem-solving interactions between adult outpatients with obsessive-compulsive disorder or panic disorder with agoraphobia and their relatives. The interrater reliability for the 3 scales was adequate to excellent, and the scales appeared to tap related, but distinct, aspects of the EOI construct. Results from a multitrait-multimethod matrix and a confirmatory factor analysis supported the measure's convergent validity but were equivocal with respect to its discriminant validity.
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