Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Leonard Handler

Committee Members

Robert G. Wahler, Jack M. Barlow, Lawrence R. James


This dissertation is about the development of a measure of self cohesion a concept introduced by Heinz Kohut in his works about self psychology. A literature search revealed few assessment instruments grounded in self psychological theory. Silverstein (1999) has developed self psychological projective techniques. Robbins and Patton (1985) have developed the most widely used instruments, the Goal Instability and Superiority Scales (GIS and SS). Other means of measuring self psychological instruments were developed by Connor (1981), Hahn (1994), and Kowal (2000).

The items for the Self Cohesion Scale (SCS) were developed from the works of Kohut (1971; 1977; 1984) and Wolf (1976; 1988). The scale was then administered to undergraduate students along with the GIS, SS, Personal Reaction Inventory (Crowne & Marlowe, 1960), the Quality of Life Inventory (QOLI; Frisch, 1994), and the Tennessee Inventory (TI; Eskra & Handler, 1995). A principal components analysis was used to determine the number of factors in the SCS and alpha reliabilities were used to determine the final items in each factor. The GIS and SS were used to investigate construct validity while the QOLI and TI were used to investigate concurrent validity. The study resulted in two factors which measure different forms of selfobject relations as well as producing three factors as a foundation for further research. This research suggests self cohesion might be better measured by assessing the components which comprise self cohesion.

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