Coupling through projective identification

Göral Alkan, Fatma S
This thesis aimed to examine the process of projective identification in the couple relationship by focusing on two areas of investigation: Firstly, how projective identification operates “within” an individual regarding the associations among early parenting experiences, personality and couple relationship; secondly how projective identification operates between two partners in the couple relationship regarding partners’ similarities and complementarities have been focused. Initially, several multiple regressions were run to examine the relationships among the parenting, personality and couple relationship. Afterwards, several intra-class partial pairwise correlatons were conducted to reveal similarities and complementarities of the partners regarding their early maladaptive parenting experiences, personality constructs and couple relationship variables. Paulson Daily Living Inventory, Separation-Individuation Inventory and Splitting Scale were translated into Turkish and psychometric studies were conducted. For the main study, 356 participants (178 male and 178 female), who are cohabiting partners to each other, were achieved through snowball sampling method. Early maladaptive parenting experiences of the participants were examined by Young Parenting Inventory. Personality constructs contained “separation individuation process” and “splitting defense” as the theoretical correlates of projective identification, and “early maladaptive schemas” of the individuals. Couple relationship variables were “relationship satisfaction”, “emotional dependency” and “jealousy”. Findings of the study revealed that projective identification has bidirectional relatedness with the personality and couple relationship of the individual. Multiple regression analyses showed theoretically consistent associations among an individual’s parenting experiences, personality and couple relationship. Intra-class partial pairwise correlations showed similarities and complementarities between two partners. Findings were discussed in the light of relevant literature.


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Citation Formats
F. S. Göral Alkan, “Coupling through projective identification,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2010.