Special section: The TAT and other storytelling projective methods original article: External validity of SCORS-G Ratings of thematic apperception test narratives in a sample of outpatients and inpatients

Michelle B. Stein, Jenelle Slavin-Mulford, Caleb J. Siefert, Samuel Justin Sinclair, Michaela Smith, Wei Jean Chung, Rachel Liebman, Mark A. Blais

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

9 Scopus citations


The Social Cognition and Object Relations Scale-Global Ratings Method (SCORS-G; Stein, Hilsenroth, Slavin-Mulford, & Pinsker-Aspen, 2011) is a reliable system for coding narrative data, such as Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) stories. This study employs a cross-sectional, correlational design to examine associations between SCORS-G dimensions and life events in two clinical samples. Samples were composed of 177 outpatients and 57 inpatients who completed TAT protocols as part of routine clinical care. Two experienced raters coded narratives with the SCORS-G. Data on the following clinically relevant life events were collected: history of psychiatric hospitalization, suicidality, self-harming behavior, drug/ alcohol abuse, conduct-disordered behavior, trauma, and education level. As expected, the clinical life event variable associated with the largest number of SCORS-G dimensions was Suicidality. Identity and Coherence of Self was related to self-harm history across samples. Emotional Investment in Relationships and Complexity of Representations were also associated with several life events. Clinical applications, limitations of the study, and future directions are reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-81
Number of pages24
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2015



  • Clinical history
  • Narrative data
  • Performance-based tasks
  • Thematic Apperception Test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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