Exploring the construct validity of the social cognition and object relations scale in a clinical sample

Michelle B. Stein, Jenelle M Slavin-Mulford, S. Justin Sinclair, Caleb J. Siefert, Mark A. Blais

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The Social Cognition and Object Relations Scale-Global rating method (SCORS-G; Stein, Hilsenroth, Slavin-Mulford, & Pinsker, 2011; Westen, 1995) measures the quality of object relations in narrative material. This study employed a multimethod approach to explore the structure and construct validity of the SCORS-G. The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT; Murray, 1943) was administered to 59 patients referred for psychological assessment at a large Northeastern U.S. hospital. The resulting 301 TAT narratives were rated using the SCORS-G method. The 8 SCORS variables were found to have high interrater reliability and good internal consistency. Principal components analysis revealed a 3-component solution with components tapping emotions/affect regulation in relationships, self-image, and aspects of cognition. Next, the construct validity of the SCORS-G components was explored using measures of intellectual and executive functioning, psychopathology, and normal personality. The 3 SCORS-G components showed unique and theoretically meaningful relationships across these broad and diverse psychological measures. This study demonstrates the value of using a standardized scoring method, like the SCORS-G, to reveal the rich and complex nature of narrative material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-540
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Personality Assessment
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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