Economic CRISIS, Health Psychology and PERSONALITY: a Preliminary Study of Personality Organization in “CRISIS-RELATED” Subjects

  • A. Rossi
  • F. D’Oronzio
  • M. Porta
  • S. Soldatesca
  • A. Giannelli


Background. A deep mental health distress has been introduced by the current economic and social crisis. Methods. A control group observational research design has been used to point out the differences among the personality organization (Kernberg 1975, 1984) in subjects affected by “crisis-related” disorders who asked help to “Crisis and Psychopathology Observatory” of “Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico” of Milan, compared to the other subjects taken over the same Mental Health Care Center. Participants (N=35) were tested at the first psychiatric visit with Inventory of Personality Organization (Lenzenweger et al., 2001;) – Primitive Defense, ?=.83; Reality Testing, ?=.88; Identity Diffusion, ?=.85. Findings. One-way ANOVA points out that “crisis-related” subjects show (A) higher identity diffusion: F(1,33)=10.48; p<.003; (B) higher use of primitive defenses: F(1,33)=30,67; p<.001; (C) a lower reality testing: F(1,33)=20.12; p<.001. Discussion. Results suggest that “crisis-related” patients show a particular configuration of personality organization. They also suggest a way in the research to better understand who the “crisis-related” subjects really are.
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