Parental representations and dimensions of personality: Empirical relations and assessment implications

Aaron L. Pincus, Mark A. Ruiz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Research on the relations between parental representations, personality traits, and psychopathology was discussed with reference to their integration for clinical personality assessment. Empirical results linking parental representations assessed by the Structural Analysis of Social Behavior and the Five-Factor Model of personality traits in a young adult population supported the position that parental representations significantly relate to adult personality. Individuals whose parental representations were generally affiliative described themselves as less prone to emotional distress (lower neuroticism); more interpersonally oriented and experiencing of positive emotions (higher extraversion); more peaceable and trustworthy (higher agreeableness); and more dutiful, resourceful, and dependable (higher conscientiousness). Parental representations colored by autonomy granting and autonomy taking were related to higher levels of openness to experience but lower levels of conscientiousness and extraversion in self-descriptions. Assessment implications and an integrative assessment strategy were presented along with a clinical case example.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)436-454
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Personality Assessment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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