Mentalization, operationalized as reflective functioning (RF), can play a crucial role in the psychological mechanisms underlying personality functioning. This study aimed to: (a) study the association between RF, personality disorders (cluster level) and functioning; (b) investigate whether RF and personality functioning are influenced by (secure vs. insecure) attachment; and (c) explore the potential mediating effect of RF on the relationship between attachment and personality functioning. The Shedler-Westen Assessment Procedure (SWAP-200) was used to assess personality disorders and levels of psychological functioning in a clinical sample (N = 88). Attachment and RF were evaluated with the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) and Reflective Functioning Scale (RFS). Findings showed that RF had significant negative associations with cluster A and B personality disorders, and a significant positive association with psychological functioning. Moreover, levels of RF and personality functioning were influenced by attachment patterns. Finally, RF completely mediated the relationship between (secure/insecure) attachment and adaptive psychological features, and thus accounted for differences in overall personality functioning. Lack of mentalization seemed strongly associated with vulnerabilities in personality functioning, especially in patients with cluster A and B personality disorders. These findings provide support for the development of therapeutic interventions to improve patients’ RF.

Does reflective functioning mediate the relationship between attachment and personality?

Nazzaro M. P.;Boldrini T.;Giovanardi G.;
2017

Abstract

Mentalization, operationalized as reflective functioning (RF), can play a crucial role in the psychological mechanisms underlying personality functioning. This study aimed to: (a) study the association between RF, personality disorders (cluster level) and functioning; (b) investigate whether RF and personality functioning are influenced by (secure vs. insecure) attachment; and (c) explore the potential mediating effect of RF on the relationship between attachment and personality functioning. The Shedler-Westen Assessment Procedure (SWAP-200) was used to assess personality disorders and levels of psychological functioning in a clinical sample (N = 88). Attachment and RF were evaluated with the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) and Reflective Functioning Scale (RFS). Findings showed that RF had significant negative associations with cluster A and B personality disorders, and a significant positive association with psychological functioning. Moreover, levels of RF and personality functioning were influenced by attachment patterns. Finally, RF completely mediated the relationship between (secure/insecure) attachment and adaptive psychological features, and thus accounted for differences in overall personality functioning. Lack of mentalization seemed strongly associated with vulnerabilities in personality functioning, especially in patients with cluster A and B personality disorders. These findings provide support for the development of therapeutic interventions to improve patients’ RF.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3427764
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