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The Distinctive Associations of Interpersonal Problems with Personality Beliefs Within the Framework of Cognitive Theory of Personality Disorders

Akyunus, Miray
Gençöz, Tülin
The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between interpersonal problems and dysfunctional beliefs associated with personality disorders, within the framework of cognitive theory of personality disorders. Based on the proposition of cognitive theory, different dimensions of interpersonal problems which were assessed through the coordinates of interpersonal circumplex model were expected to be associated with specific categories of personality beliefs namely, deprecating, inflated, and ambivalent personality beliefs. Participants were 997 volunteer adults (304 males and 693 females) from Turkey, between the ages of 18 and 61. They completed the personality belief questionnaire, basic personality traits inventory, and inventory of interpersonal problems measures. Considering the well-established representations of personality disorders in Big Five space, and correspondence between five-factor model of personality and interpersonal circumplex model, the present study examined the hypothesized associations via a robust analysis where strongly relevant personality factors were statistically controlled for in each analysis. Results revealed that different dimensions of interpersonal problems distinctively associated with three personality belief categories; deprecating beliefs were associated with over-friendly submissiveness, inflated beliefs were associated with dominance, and ambivalent beliefs were associated with hostile/cold dominance. Findings supported the validity of cognitive formulations (view of self and view of others) of the personality disorders proposed by the cognitive theory, also highlighted the priority of interpersonal problems in personality psychopathology.