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Copyright 1998 by the American Psychological Association, Inc.

0022-0167/98/S3.00

Journal of Counseling Psychology


1998, Vol. 45, No. 3, 235-246

The Differentiation of Self Inventory:


Development and Initial Validation
Elizabeth A. Skowron and Myrna L. Friedlander
University at Albany, State University of New York
Despite the importance of Bowen theory (M.Bowen, 1976,1978; M. E. Kerr&Bowen, 1988)
in the field of family therapy, there have been relatively few studies to date examining its
constructs or propositions. To fill this gap, a self-report instrument, the Differentiation of Self
Inventory (DSI) has been developed. The DSI is a multidimensional measure of differentiation
that focuses specifically on adults (age 25+), their significant relationships, and current
relations with family of origin. Six-hundred and nine adults participated in a series of 3
studies, in which DSI scoresreflecting less emotional reactivity, cutoff, and fusion with
others, and a greater ability to take an "I position"predicted lower chronic anxiety, better
psychological adjustment, and greater marital satisfaction. Other results consistent with
Bowen theory are discussed, along with the potential contribution of the DSI for testing
Bowen theory, as a clinical assessment tool, and as an indicator of psychotherapeutic outcome.

Bowen theory (Bowen, 1976, 1978) is regarded as one of


the few comprehensive explanations of psychological development from a systemic and multigenerational perspective
(Gurman, 1991; Nichols & Schwartz, 1998). Indeed, Bowen
theory provides a foundation for the field of family therapy
that renders it distinct from the multitude of theoretical
approaches to individual psychotherapy. At present, many of
Bowen's (1976, 1978) concepts (e.g., differentiation of self,
interlocking triangles, or reactive emotional distancing)
pervade the family systems literature. Despite the vast
attention Bowen theory has received from clinicians and
theorists alike, there have been, to date, few programmatic
attempts to test its validity with respect to personality
functioning or quality of interpersonal relations or to changes
as a result of psychotherapy. To begin filling this notable
gap, we developed the Differentiation of Self Inventory, a
self-report instrument for adults (ages 25+). In this article,
we present psychometric support for the measure, validation
studies to date, and implications for theory, research, and
practice.
Of the various constructs that compose Bowen theory,
differentiation of self is the personality variable most critical
to mature development and the attainment of psychological

health. Differentiation of self is defined as the degree to


which one is able to balance (a) emotional and intellectual
functioning and (b) intimacy and autonomy in relationships
(Bowen, 1978). On an intrapsychic level, differentiation
refers to the ability to distinguish thoughts from feelings and
to choose between being guided by one's intellect or one's
emotions (Bowen, 1976, 1978). Greater differentiation allows one to experience strong affect or shift to calm, logical
reasoning when circumstances dictate. Flexible, adaptable,
and better able to cope with stress, more differentiated
individuals operate equally well on both emotional and
rational levels while maintaining a measure of autonomy
within their intimate relationships.
In contrast, poorly differentiated persons tend to be more
emotionally reactive (Kerr & Bowen, 1988, p. 320), finding
it difficult to remain calm in response to the emotionality of
others. With intellect and emotions fused, they tend to make
decisions on the basis of what "feels right"; in short, they
are trapped in an emotional world (Bowen, 1976; Kerr,
1985).
On an interpersonal level, differentiation of self refers to
the ability to experience intimacy with and independence
from others. More differentiated persons are capable of
taking an / Position in relationships: maintaining a clearly
defined sense of self and thoughtfully adhering to personal
convictions when pressured by others to do otherwise
(Bowen, 1978, p. 252). Differentiation allows for flexible
boundaries that permit emotional intimacy and physical
union with another without a fear of merger (Bowen, 1978;
Kerr, 1988).
When overwhelmed by emotionality in their family
relationships, poorly differentiated individuals tend to engage infusion or emotional cutoff (Ken & Bowen, 1988).
According to Bowen theory, highly fused individuals remain
emotionally "stuck" in the position they occupied in their
families of origin, have few firmly held convictions and
beliefs, are either dogmatic or compliant, and seek acceptance and approval above all other goals (Bowen, 1976,

Elizabeth A. Skowron and Myrna L. Friedlander, Department of


Counseling Psychology, University at Albany, State University of
New York.
Portions of this research, based on a doctoral dissertation by
Elizabeth A. Skowron under the direction of Myrna L, Friedlander,
were presented at the 100th and 103rd Annual Conventions of the
American Psychological Association. We gratefully acknowledge
the valuable comments and suggestions of Richard F. Haase,
Michael P. Nichols, Robert Noone, Collie Connelly, Barbara
White, and Douglas Rait.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to
Elizabeth A. Skowron, who is now at the Department of Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201-0413. Electronic mail may be sent to eskowron
soe.uwm.edu.
235

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SKOWRON AND FRIEDLANDER

1978). Emotional cutoff is personified by the reactive


emotional distancer, who appears aloof and isolated from
others, tends to deny the importance of family, often boasts
of his or her emancipation from parents, and displays an
exaggerated facade of independence (Nichols & Schwartz,
1998). Whereas the fused person tends to experience separation as overwhelming, the emotionally cutoff person finds
intimacy profoundly threatening. Yet both individuals are
poorly differentiated, basing self-esteem largely on the
approval of others and generally conforming to those around
them.
Theoretically, one's level of differentiation has a number
of important consequences for an individual. Foremost,
Bowen (1978) proposed that less differentiated individuals
experience greater chronic anxiety: "The average level of
chronic anxiety of a person and of a . . . family parallels the
basic level of differentiation of that individual and family
[and] the lower the level of basic differentiation, the higher
the average level of chronic anxiety" (Ken" & Bowen, 1988,
p. 115). According to Bowen (1976, 1978; Kerr & Bowen,
1988), less differentiated individuals also become dysfunctional under stress more easily and thus suffer more psychological and physical symptoms (e.g., anxiety, somatization,
depression, alcoholism, and psychoticism).
Conversely, highly differentiated individuals are thought
to demonstrate better psychological adjustment. Some evidence has emerged in support of these notions. Greene,
Hamilton, and Rolling (1986) discovered that inpatient and
outpatient participants, regardless of diagnosis, reported
significantly lower levels of differentiation than did those in
a nonclinical control group. Likewise, adults who report less
fusion in their significant relationships have been shown to
experience fewer self-reported health problems (Bray, Harvey, & Williamson, 1987).
More highly differentiated individuals are also expected
to remain in satisfying contact with their families of origin,
establish more satisfying marriages, and be effective problem solvers (Bowen, 1976, 1978). At present, only indirect
support exists for the theoretical link between differentiation
and marital satisfaction. Jacobson and his colleagues (Jacobson, Follette, & McDonald, 1982; Jacobson, Waldron, &
Moore, 1980) found that behavioral reactivity, defined as the
tendency for spouses to react at the affective level to some
immediate stimulus from the partner, was associated with
marital distress. Couples who reported greater marital
satisfaction showed less emotional reactivity in their exchanges, whereas interactions of distressed couples were
characterized by heightened emotional reactivity to immediate positive and negative events in their relationships
(Jacobson, Follette, & McDonald, 1982; Jacobson, Waldron,
& Moore, 1980). Harvey, Curry, and Bray (1991) observed
that greater fusion and less intimacy with one's parents
predicted deficits in intimacy and greater emotional reactivity with one's spouse.
Concern has been expressed about the paucity of empirical research on the basic principles or constructs in Bowen
theory (Gurman, 1978,1991). If Bowen theory is to continue
to contribute significantly to the field, empirical means are
needed to test (and potentially modify) its basic assump-

tions. Thus, we undertook development of the Differentiation of Self Inventory (DSI) to create a self-report instrument for adults, age 25+, capable of (a) testing theoretical
assumptions, (b) assessing individual differences in adult
functioning, and (c) evaluating psychotherapeutic outcomes
from a systemic perspective. By defining adulthood with a
lower limit of 25 years of age, we sought to ensure that the
samples obtained consisted of those individuals who, from a
family life cycle perspective (Carter & McGoldrick, 1988),
could be considered adults (i.e., postcollege or working,
living apart from the parental home, and largely financially
independent).
To adequately measure differentiation, we included both
the intrapsychic and interpersonal components, that is, the
thinking-feeling and separateness-togetherness dimensions.
Historically, transgenerational theorists (e.g., BoszormenyiNagy & Ulrich, 1981; Framo, 1992) have described individual and family functioning solely in terms of interpersonal and intergenerational family processes. Self-report
instruments developed within this tradition include Kear's
(1978) Differentiation of Self Scale, the Emotional Cutoff
Scale (McCollum, 1991), the Family-of-Origin Scale (Hovestadt, Anderson, Piercy, Cochran, & Fine, 1985), and the
Personal Authority in the Family System Questionnaire
(Bray, Williamson, & Malone, 1984). Although each represents an important contribution to the field, none attempts to
operationalize the range of interpersonal components of
differentiation (i.e., fusion to emotional cutoff), and none
focuses on the intrapsychic aspects of differentiation (see
Bowen, 1978; Kerr & Bowen, 1988).
For example, Kear's (1978) Differentiation of Self Scale
consists of three factors: Separation of Thinking and Feeling, Emotional Maturity, and Emotional Autonomy; yet
items reflect only interpersonal components of differentiation and ignore quality of relations with spouse or partner.
The Differentiation of Self Scale suffers also from significant methodological limitations. For instance, a factor
analysis used to create its subscales was conducted on 72
initial items using only 50 participants (see Nunnally, 1978).
McCollum's (1986, 1991) Emotional Cutoff Scale is an
excellent measure of the degree to which respondents
manage their emotional attachment to each parent through
cutoff. Yet its limited focus on relations with parents ignores
the presence of emotional cutoff in current significant
relationships as well as other aspects of differentiation. To
respond to the Family of Origin Scale (Hovestadt et al.,
1985), adults provide retrospective perceptions of their
family of origin relations, whereas adolescents are asked to
give their current perceptions of relations with family (e.g.,
Niedermeier, Handal, Brown, Searight, & Manley, 1992).
The retrospective ratings emphasize the past and ignore the
respondent's current relations with family members. And
although the Personal Authority in the Family System
Questionnaire (Bray et al., 1984) includes items about
current relationships, it neglects the concept of emotional
cutoff as well as the intrapsychic aspects of Bowen's (1976,
1978) concept of differentiation.
There also exist several self-report measures of separationindividuation based on object relations theory (e.g., Hoff-

DIFFERENTIATION OF SELF

man, 1984; Levine, Green, & Millon, 1986; Olver, Aries, &
Batgos, 1990). These separation-individuation measures
were designed for use with late adolescents rather than
adults, and none contain items that deal with marital
relations or that reflect problems in achieving a balance
between intimacy and autonomy. The concept of differentiation, as defined by Bowen (1976, 1978), is often misinterpreted in the family therapy literature and equated with
individuation or autonomy. Although similar in some respects, separation-individuation is not equivalent to differentiation of self. Individuation, from an object relations
perspective (e.g., Bios, 1975; Mahler, Pine, & Bergman,
1975), involves the achievement of independence and a
unique sense of identity. Differentiation of self is the
capacity to maintain autonomous thinking and achieve a
clear, coherent sense of self in the context of emotional
relationships with important others.
To create the DSI, a series of studies was undertaken
based on three different samples. The purpose of these
studies was to develop and validate the DSI using a construct
approach to test construction (e.g., Jackson, 1970; Jackson
& Messick, 1958; Loevinger, 1957; NunnalLy, 1978). Jackson's recommendations for personality scale development
were used to construct items that would adequately reflect
the domain (i.e., differentiation of self), be clear and
unambiguous, be relatively free of social desirability bias
and other content biases, have high discriminatory power,
and, as a set, sufficiently represent the underlying construct
of differentiation (Jackson, 1970).
Study 1
The purpose of this study was to create the DSI. First,
definitions, descriptions, and examples from Bowen (1976,
1978; Anonymous, 1972) and his successors (Kerr, 1985;
Kerr & Bowen, 1988; Nichols, 1984; Nichols & Schwartz,
1998; Papero, 1990) were used to generate a pool of items
that exemplify differentiation of self. Items (N = 96) generated by our research team reflected the ability to distinguish
and balance (a) thinking and feeling and (b) the capacity for
intimacy with and autonomy from others in current important relationships as well as with parents and siblings.
Differentiation was operationalized in a multidimensional
fashion, given that Bowen (1976, 1978) described many
components of differentiation in his writings. Further, Gurman (1978) argued that differentiation, like any complex
psychological construct, is inherently multidimensional. We
used a principal-components analysis to identify the DSFs
dimensionality and determine final item selection. Theoretical relations between differentiation and chronic anxiety
were tested to assess the initial construct validity of the DSI
(i.e., Bowen's proposition that poorly differentiated individuals also experience more chronic anxiety).

Method
Participants. Participants were adults (A^ =313) living in New
York, Ohio, and California, including (a) randomly selected faculty
and staff at a large state university, (b) parents of children on

237

a suburban athletic team, (c) graduate students in counseling


psychology, clinical psychology, and social work, and (d) available
friends and acquaintances of research team members. Completed
questionnaires were returned by 213 women and 98 men (2 gender
unspecified), 75% of whom were married, 49% with children. On
average, participants were 36.8 years of age (SD = 9.69,
range = 25-65). In terms of ethnicity, 5.1% of the sample were
African American, 4.5% Asian American, 2.2% Latino-Latina,
1.9% Native American, 82.7% White, and 3.2% other.
Instruments. Participants completed the 96-item DSI described
above. The Trait version of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory
(STAI-T; Spielberger, Gorsuch, & Lushene, 1970) is a wellestablished 20-item self-report measure of relatively stable individual differences in anxiety proneness. Internal consistency estimates for the STATT-T have ranged from .86 to .92, and a
test-retest reliability correlation over a 3-month interval was
reported to be .75. In contrast to large changes in STAI-State scores
produced by stress conditions, STAI-T scores of chronic anxiety
remain stable and unaffected by experimentally induced stresses
(Spielberger et al., 1970).
Procedure. We contacted participants by form letter and asked
them to take part in a research project that focused on adults'
interpersonal relationships and their relationships with their families of origin. Questionnaire packets consisted of the DSI, a
demographic sheet, and the STAI-T. Each packet included a cover
letter stating the purpose of the study and explaining the voluntary
and anonymous nature of the research. Postage-paid envelopes
were provided.

Results and Discussion


Subscales were developed on the basis of the responses of
313 adults. A principal-components analysis was conducted
using an orthogonal rotation. We used a principal-components analysis because we were interested in identifying a
few coherent dimensions that best reflected the various
aspects of the differentiation. Bowen's theory has many
constructs that are not mutually exclusive but that relate to
differentiation of self. To have created subscales based
solely on our own biases as to the relative importance of
these theoretical constructs seemed less rigorous (cf. Jackson, 1970) than allowing the respondents' ratings to help
determine the salient dimensions of the measure. Thus,
although we created an initial pool of 96 items representative of the substantive domain of differentiation, the final
basis of item selection was empirical.
Four factors were identified with eigenvalues greater than
3.0, ranging from 11.43 to 3.34. Results of Cattail's scree
plot of the factor variances showed a substantial break after
four factors; these four factors accounted for 26.2% of the
variance. To interpret the factors and construct scales, we
considered only those items loading at least .40 on a single
factor (n = 43). The following factors were identified:
Factor 1, with 12 items, was defined as Emotional Reactivity; Factor 2, with 10 items, was defined as taking an
I Position; Factor 3, with 13 items, was defined as Reactive
Distancing; and Factor 4, with 9 items, was defined as
Fusion With Parents, (A table listing items and their factor
loadings is available from Elizabeth A. Skowron.)
We conducted subsequent analyses, using the four
subscale scores and a total DSI score. Scores were reversed
on the items constituting Emotional Reactivity, Reactive

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Distancing, and Fusion With Parents subscales to signify


less differentiation; thus, higher scores on each subscale
reflected greater levels of differentiation. To compute the
DSI full scale, all 44 items were summed so that higher
scores reflected greater differentiation of self.
Internal consistency estimates using Cronbach's alpha
suggested high reliabilities for the DSI total scale and each
of the four subscales: DSI = .88; Emotional Reactivity =
.83; Reactive Distancing = .80; Fusion With Parents = .82;
and I Position = .80. Subscale correlations with the DSI full
scale were moderate to high: .59 (Fusion With Parents), .65
(I Position), .75 (Reactive Distancing), and .80 (Emotional
Reactivity). Correlations among the four subscales were
small to moderate: .37 (Emotional Reactivity and I Position), .45 (Emotional Reactivity and Reactive Distancing),
.31 (Emotional Reactivity and Fusion With Parents), .34 (I
Position and Reactive Distancing), .17 (I Position and
Fusion With Parents), and .18 (Reactive Distancing and
Fusion With Parents). In support of the DSI's construct
validity, level of differentiation, as measured by the DSI,
correlated highly with a measure of chronic anxiety. DSI
full-scale scores significantly predicted Trait Anxiety, measured by the STAI-T (r = .64, p < .0001). Correlations
between Trait Anxiety and the four subscales ranged from
.16 (p < .01, Fusion With Parents) to .51 (I Position), .55
(Reactive Distancing), and .58 (Emotional Reactivity), all
remaining ps < .0001.
Study 2
The purpose of Study 2 was to revise the theoretical focus
and item content of the original DSI because of the
considerable amount of variance left unaccounted for in the
previous factor analysis. In this study, the DSI subscales
underwent conceptual revisions, and its psychometric properties were strengthened on the basis of item analyses and a
critical examination of social desirability bias. Once again, a
construct approach to personality scale construction (e.g.,
Cronbach & Meehl, 1955; Jackson, 1970; Jackson &
Messick, 1958; Loevinger, 1957; Nunnally, 1978) was used.
The factor structure of the original DSI was retained in the
present revision. First, the four or five items with the highest
item-total correlations within each subscale were identified.
The content of these items guided our decisions about
retaining or modifying each subscale name or definition. The
Emotional Reactivity and I Position subscales appeared to
best represent the constructs as in the literature and thus
underwent only modest revisions. Because the Reactive
Distancing and Fusion With Parents subscales had emerged
as conceptually weaker, we refined their conceptualizations
and renamed them Emotional Cutoff and Fusion With
Others, respectively.
Revisiting definitions and descriptions of differentiation
based on Bowen theory (Anonymous, 1972; Bowen, 1976,
1978; Kerr & Bowen, 1988), we generated a pool of 78
items, which was submitted along with subscale definitions
to two experts on Bowen theory, who suggested the revision
of some items and subscale definitions. Next, on the basis of
the responses of a second adult sample, item analyses were

conducted to minimize social desirability bias and select the


best items for each subscale. Descriptive statistics were
computed, along with internal consistency reliabilities.

Method
Participants, Adults (n = 169, 111 women and 58 men), age
25+, who were employed at a large northeastern state agency, took
part in the research. Participants averaged 42.34 years of age
(SD = 8.59). The majority were married (70.2%; M - 15.04
years), 13.7% were single, 6.3% were unmarried and living with a
partner, and 9.5% were separated or divorced. In terms of ethnicity,
90.4% were White, 5.4% African American, 0.6% Asian American,
0.6% Latino-Latina, 0.6% Native American, and 2.4% other.
Approximately 15% of participants were currentLy in therapy; 45%
had sought therapy in the past.
Instruments. The DSI used in Study 2 contained 78 items
constituting four subscales: Emotional Reactivity, I Position,
Emotional Cutoff, and Fusion With Others. To rate each item,
respondents used a 6-point Likert-type scale, ranging from not at
all true of me (1) to very true of me (6). Crowne and Marlowe's
(1964) Social Desirability Scale (SDS), a 33-item true-false
self-report measure, was used to estimate the tendency to describe
oneself in favorable terms. Internal consistency reliability has been
estimated at .88, with test-retest correlations at .88 and .89
(Crowne & Marlowe, 1960,1964; Robinson & Shaver, 1973).
Procedure. Adults, age 25+, who were employed at a large
northeastern state agency, took part in the research. Clustersampling procedures were used to randomly select 2 departments
from a large northeastern state agency, out of 32 total from which to
solicit participants. Three hundred potential participants were
contacted by interagency mail. Each packet included a cover letter
explaining the voluntary and anonymous nature of the research, the
two counterbalanced questionnaires, and a demographic sheet. The
study was described as "focusing on adults' interpersonal relationships, relationships with family members, and (their) general
attitudes." Participants returned completed packets by mail in
sealed envelopes. One hundred sixty-nine participants returned
completed questionnaires, for a 56% return rate.

Results
Item analyses. Statistical analyses were performed at
the item level to discern the DSI's inherent factor and to
ensure that each subscale was homogeneous and distinct
from the other three subscales (Campbell & Fiske, 1959;
Jackson, 1970). All items met a priori criteria for response
distribution (i.e., items with skewness and kurtosis values
between 1.5 and 1.5 and SDs >: 1 were retained). Thirtyfive items were eliminated due to low item-scale correlations (i.e., items with item-subscale correlations <.45 were
eliminated). Seven items were rekeyed because they loaded
highly on another subscale and demonstrated good discrimination between subscales and because the Bowen experts we
consulted suggested that those items corresponded more
highly to that respective subscale.
No additional items were eliminated on the basis of
criteria for evaluating social desirability bias. Correlations
between DSI items and social desirability scores ranged
from -.15 to .49. None of the remaining 43 items were
found to lower the internal consistency reliability of their

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DIFFERENTIATION OF SELF

respective subscales; thus, no additional items were eliminated. (Tables illustrating item response distributions, skewness and kurtosis values, item correlations with the SDS,
item-subscale correlations, and item reliability analyses are
available from Elizabeth A. Skowron.)
Description of the DSL The resulting 43-item DSI (see
Appendix) contains four subscales: Emotional Reactivity, I
Position, Emotional Cutoff, and Fusion With Others. The
11-item Emotional Reactivity subscale reflects the degree to
which a person responds to environmental stimuli with
emotional flooding, emotional lability, or hypersensitivity.
The I Position subscale contains 11 items that reflect a
clearly defined sense of self and the ability to thoughtfully
adhere to one's convictions when pressured to do otherwise.
The 12-item Emotional Cutoff subscale reflects feeling
threatened by intimacy and feeling excessive vulnerability
in relations with others. Items reflect fears of engulfment and
behavioral defenses like overfunctioning, distancing, or
denial. Finally, the 9-item Fusion With Others subscale
reflects emotional overinvolvement with others, including
triangulation and overidentification with parents.
To compute the DSI full-scale score, raw scores on all
items in the Emotional Reactivity, Emotional Cutoff, and
Fusion With Others subscales and on one item in the I
Position subscale (#35) are reversed, so that higher scores
signify greater differentiation. Scores on all items are then
summed and divided by the total number of items, so that the
full-scale score ranges from 1 (low differentiation) to 6 {high
differentiation). To facilitate comparison of full-scale and
subscale scores, each subscale is also computed by reversing
respective items, summing item scores, and then dividing by
the number of items in the subscale (Emotional Reactivity = 11, I Position = 11, Emotional Cutoff = 12, Fusion
With Others = 9). Scores on each subscale thus range from
1 to 6, with higher scores reflecting greater differentiation.
Descriptive statistics. All scores were normally distributed; subscale means ranged from 2.07 to 4.34 (full-scale
M = 3.73, SD = 0.58; see Table 1). Subscale-full-scale
correlations were moderate to high, ranging from .43
(Fusion With Others) to .80 (Emotional Reactivity), all ps <
.001. Intercorrelations among the subscales were low to
moderate, ranging from .08 (Fusion With Others and I

Position) to .53 (Fusion With Others and Emotional Reactivity; see Table 2). Correlations between DSI subscales and
SDS scores were negligible to moderate {r .42 for Emotional Reactivity, r = .49 for I Position, r = .34 for Emotional Cutoff, and r = - .02 for Fusion With Others).
Cronbach's alpha was used to estimate internal consistency
reliabilities for the DSI full scale and each of the four
subscales (DSI a = .88, Emotional Reactivity a = .84; I
Position a = .83, Emotional Cutoff a = .82; Fusion With
Others a = .74).

Study 3
After the DSI subscale revisions in Study 2, a third sample
was obtained to evaluate the DSI's factor structure using
confirmatory factor analyses and to test theoretically predicted relations between differentiation of self, psychological symptoms, and marital satisfaction. It was hypothesized
that (a) significant inverse relationships between symptomatology and the DSI subscales would support Bowen's
(1976,1978) assumption that highly differentiated individuals are more free of symptoms and generally better adjusted
and (b) significant positive relationships between marital
satisfaction and the DSI subscales would support Bowen's
(1976,1978; Kerr & Bowen, 1988) proposition that individuals with higher levels of differentiation establish more
satisfying marriages.

Method
Participants. A total of 127 adults (118 employees and 9
spouses) participated, with only 91 married adults completing the
Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS). Participants were 53 men and 73
women (1 gender unspecified), with an average age of 42.23 years
(SD 10.22, range 25-72 years). Married respondents constituted
59.5% of the sample (M = 12.72 years married, SD = 9.74). Of the
remainder, 15.9% were single, 9.4% were unmarried and living
with a partner, 13.5% were separated or divorced, and 1,6% were
widowed. More than half of the participants (61.8%) were parents
(M = 2.13 children, SD = 0.94). In terms of ethnicity, 90.5% of the
sample were White, 4.0% African American, 2.4% Asian American, 1.6% Latino-Latina, and 0.8% Native American. Ten percent

Table 1

Means and Standard Deviations on the DSI


Study 3
Study 2

Total

Men

Women

Scale

SD

SD

SD

ER
IP
EC
FO
DSI

3.35
4.01
4.34
2.97
3.73

0.90
0.83
0.87
0.88
0.58

3.37
4.08
4.53
2.92
3.74

0.94
0.85
0.79
0.85
0.60

3.69a
4.24
4.44
3.05
3.87

0.88
0.90
0.77
0.89
0.55

SD

3.18b
3.97
4.61
2.82
3.64

0.92
0.81
0.81
0.82
0.61

Note. For Study 2, n = 169; for Study 3, n = 127 (53 men, 73 women, 1 unspecified). DSI =
Differentiation of Self Inventory; ER = Emotional Reactivity; IP = I Position; EC = Emotional
Cutoff; FO = Fusion With Others. Scores range from 1 to 6. Higher scores on all scales reflect greater
differentiation of self. Means in the same row that do not share subscripts differ at p < .01.

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Table 2
Intercorrelations Among Subscales
and Subscale-Full-Scale Correlations
Scale

1
Study 2

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

DSI
ER
IP
EC
FO

.80**
.61**
.64**
.43**

.46**
.27*
.53**

.31*
.08

-.12

.28*
.12

-.04

Study 3
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

DSI
ER
IP
EC
FO

.84**
.69**
.58**
.52**

.53**
.25
.48**

Note. DSI = Differentiation of Self Inventory; ER = Emotional


Reactivity; IP = I Position; EC - Emotional Cutoff; FO = Fusion
With Others. Scores on the DSI and subscales range from 1 to 6.
Higher scores on all scales represent greater differentiation of self.
*p < .001, two-tailed. **p < .0001, two-tailed.

of participants were currently in therapy; 52.70% had past experience in psychotherapy, predominantly (59.40%) in individual
treatment.
Instruments. The four subscales in the 43-item DSI were used
as predictor variables. In the Study 3 sample, internal consistency
reliabilities were moderate to high and similar to those obtained in
previous studies (DSI a = .88, Emotional Reactivity a = .88; 1
Position a = .85; Emotional Cutoff a = .79; Fusion With Others
a = .70).
The Hopkins Symptom Checklist (Derogatis, Lipman, Rickels,
Uhlenhuth, & Covi, 1974) is a well-known self-report measure
assessing psychological symptomatology on five dimensions: Somatization, Obsessive-Compulsive, Interpersonal Sensitivity, Depression, and Anxiety. Items are rated on a 4-point Likert-type
scale, ranging from 1 (not at all) to 4 (extremely), reflecting the
degree of distress experienced within the past 7 days. Its General
Severity Index (GSI) reflects intensity of distress independent of
the number of symptoms endorsed (Derogatis, Yevzeroff, &
Wittelsberger, 1975). The GSI is sensitive to symptom changes
over the course of psychotherapy (Rickels et al., 1971) and is used
most often to provide a summary measure of symptomatology
(Derogatis et al., 1974). The GSI is computed by summing the five
raw symptom subscales and dividing by 58; scores range from 1 to
4, with higher scores indicating greater symptomatology. Internal
consistency reliabilities range from .84 to .87, and test-retest
coefficients range from .75 to .84 (Derogatis et al., 1974). GSI
scores in the present sample ranged from 1.0 to 2.6 (M = 1.5,
SD = 0.33).
Spanier's (1976) DAS assesses relationship discord and overall
marital satisfaction. The DAS yields a total score ranging from 0 to
151, with higher scores reflecting better marital adjustment.
Internal consistency reliability of the DAS full-scale score has been
reported at .96 (Spanier, 1976). Construct validity is supported by
significant correlations with other well-known measures of marital
adjustment and by results showing that divorced couples score
significantly lower than married couples (Spanier, 1976, 1988).
Scores in the present sample ranged from 50 to 150 (M = 104,
SD = 17.9). On the basis of the accepted DAS cutoff score of 98
(Eddy, Heyman, & Weiss, 1991; Jacobson et al., 1984), 30 married
participants (30.90%) in Study 3 were classified as maritally
distressed.

Procedure. Three hundred adult participants were randomly


selected from an available sample of staff (e.g., administrative,
building maintenance, and clerical), faculty, and their spouses at a
northeastern state university. Participants were contacted by letter
through the campus mail and asked to complete a packet consisting
of the three randomly ordered questionnaires and a demographic
sheet. Unmarried participants were instructed to disregard the
DAS, and married volunteers were invited to request an additional
packet for their spouse. (The original plan was to compare couples'
scores, but too few spouses returned questionnaires.) Each packet
included a cover letter that described the study as "focusing on
adults1 interpersonal relationships, relationships with family members, and (their) general attitudes" and explained its voluntary and
anonymous nature. The return rate was 42.3%.

Results
Preliminary analyses. Means and standard deviations
on the four DSI subscale and full-scale scores were highly
similar to those obtained in Study 2 (see Table 1). As in
Study 2, scores were normally distributed, subscale intercorrelations were moderate (Emotional Reactivity and I Position r .53; Emotional Reactivity and Fusion With Others
r = .48) to negligible (e.g., Fusion With Others and Emotional Cutoff r= - .04; see Table 2).
Factor analyses. We conducted a confirmatory factor
analysis, using Lisrel 7, to evaluate the four-factor structure
of the DSI. Given the limitations inherent in using Lisrel
procedures when fitting models with large numbers of
single-item indicators such as the DSI, an item-clustering
procedure was used to increase the stability of the indicators
(c.f. Anderson & Gerbing, 1988; Joreskog & Sdrbom, 1986;
MacCallum, 1986). For each of the 4 DSI subscales, single
items were randomly summed into meta-items, comprising 3
or 4 items each, resulting in 3 indicators per subscale, or 12
indicators in all. Table 3 contains the correlation matrix
among the 12 confirmatory factor analysis indicator variables.
Fit indices used to evaluate the model included the
goodness-of-fit index (GFI), adjusted goodness-of-fit index
(adjusted GFI), a chi-square to degrees of freedom ratio
(X2'4O, and the root mean squared of the residuals (RMS).
GFI values greater than .90, adjusted GFI values greater than
.80, a x W r a t i o less than 2.0, and RMS values less than . 10
indicate a well-fitting model (cf, Cole, 1987; Joreskog &
Sorbom, 1986; Marsh & Hocevar, 1985).
The four-factor model of differentiation, corresponding to
the four DSI subscales, was tested. Indicators expected to
load on each factor were stated in advance (Nunnally, 1978).
Each of the indicators was permitted to load freely on its
respective factor and was constrained to 0 on the other
factors. Each latent variable was scaled to the first indicator
by fixing its value to 1.00. A maximum-likelihood solution
was used to fit the model to the data. The fit of this
four-factor model was good, x2(48, N = 137) = 89.35,
p < .0001, GFI = .91, adjusted GFI = .85, ^idf = 1.86,
RMS = .07.
Figure 1 illustrates the four latent variables (Emotional
Reactivity, I Position, Emotional Cutoff, and Fusion With
Others), the individual indicator loadings on the latent
variables, and the residual error terms. Correlations among
the four factors were negligible to moderate, ranging from

241

DIFFERENTIATION OF SELF

Table 3
Correlation Matrix for Confirmatory Factor Analyses
7
2
3
4
5
6
Variable
1
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.

ER,
ER2
ER3
IP!
IP2
IP3
ECi
EC2
EC3
FO!
FO2
FO 3

.74
.76
.35
.49
.45

.63
.24

.22

.42
.40
.26

.16
.06
.34
.37
.32

.27
.13
.39
.33
.33

.35

.46
.53
.26
.24
.18
.30
.31
.32

.70
.47
.20
.28
.06
.01
.13
-.05

.64
.23
.18
.01
.02
.21

.05

10

11

12

.62
.02
-.06
-.05

-.01
-.12
-.07

.49
.48

.50

.32
.39
.15
.00
.14
.09

.51

.50
.07
.04
-.08

Note. ER = Emotional Reactivity; IP = I Position; EC - Emotional Cutoff; FO = Fusion With


Others; DSI = Differentiation of Self Inventory. ER, = DSI Items 1,14,26, 38; ER2 = DSI Items 6,
18, 30,40; ER3 = DSI Items 10, 21,34; IPi = DSI Items 4,15,27,41; EP2 = DSI Items 7,19, 31,43;
TP3 = DSI Items 11, 23, 35; EC, = DSI Items 2, 12, 24, 36; EC2 - DSI Items 3, 16, 28, 39; EC3 =
DSI Items 8,20,32,42; FOj = DSI Items 5,17,29; FO2 = DSI Items 9,22,33; FO3 = DSI Items 13,
25, 37. To estimate each indicator, individual items were summed and divided by number of items per
indicator.

- . 0 6 (Fusion With Others and Emotional Cutoff) to .59


(Emotional Reactivity and I Position). Next, a related factor
model was also tested representing the four DSI subscales as
factors, with differentiation of self identified as a single,
higher order latent factor. Results were also positive, x2(50,
N = 137) = 94.58, p < .0001, GFI - .91, adjusted GFI =
.86, and y^tdf = 1.89, for the DSI as representing a single,
multidimensional construct.
Tests of Bowen theory. On the basis of the results of
preliminary univariate regression and one-way analyses of
variance conducted using a familywise alpha of .01, age and
gender, respectively, were included as covariates in the
major analyses. Gender showed a significant relationship
with Emotional Reactivity, F(l, 113) = 7.05, p = .01, with
women reporting relatively more emotional reactivity
(M = 3.18) than men (M = 3.69; see Table 1). (Recall that
because higher subscale scores reflect greater differentiation,
a lower Emotional Reactivity score signifies greater emotional reactivity). Age showed a unique relationship with
Fusion Wilh Others, r(l, 104) - 3.08, p < .003, r = .45,
with younger participants reporting greater difficulties with
fusion. Level of educational attainment, marital status
(single vs. married), parental status (yes vs. no), and
treatment history all failed to predict DSI scores at a = .01.
(A table illustrating intercorrelations among predictor, covariate, and criterion variables is available from Elizabeth A.
Skowron.)
A univariate multiple regression analysis was conducted,
with four predictors (DSI subscales), two covariates, and the
criterion variable, GSI. A significant inverse relationship
emerged between scores on the four DSI subscales and the
GSI, with age and gender controlled, F(4,104) = 18.73,p <
.0001,tf^mipartia!= -42. In other words, higher differentiation
scores predicted significantly less symptomatic distress.
Examination of the t tests on each beta weight showed that
Emotional Reactivity and Emotional Cutoff made significant
unique contributions, /3 = - . 4 5 , t(\, 104) = -4.07 for
Emotional Reactivity; /3 = -.32, t{\, 104) = -3.90 for

Emotional Cutoff; both p$ < .001. Valences of these beta


weights indicated that greater emotional reactivity and
cutoff predicted greater symptomatic distress.
Next, we performed a univariate multiple regression
analysis on the set of four DSI predictors, two covariates,
and the criterion, DAS. Only data from the married participants (n = 91) were analyzed. A significant relationship
emerged between scores on the four DSI subscales and the
DAS. With age and gender controlled, F(4, 84) = 6.79, p <
.0001, ^semipartiai = -24 higher DSI scores predicted greater
marital satisfaction. Only Emotional Cutoff made a significant, unique contribution, /3 = .39, f(l, 84) = 3.86, p <
.001, indicating that less emotional cutoff predicted greater
satisfaction.

General Discussion
Our aim, to construct a reliable, valid self-report measure
of differentiation of self for adults using a construct approach to test development, was realized in these investigations. While a portion of the items were created or reworded
during the Study 2 revision of the DSI, its multidimensional
structure was retained. Confirmatory factor analyses demonstrated support for the DSI subscales, Emotional Reactivity,
I Position, Emotional Cutoff, and Fusion with Others, as
identifiable, empirically distinct dimensions of a single
construct, differentiation of self. Subsequent analyses with
the DSI subscales supported the internal consistency reliability and initial construct validity of the measure. Tests of
Bowen theory supported the hypothesized relations between
self-reported differentiation, symptomatology, and marital
satisfaction, providing important psychometric support for
the DSI.
Differentiation of self, estimated by the DSI subscales,
correlated significantly with amount and intensity of symptomatic distress. The unique predictors of global maladjustment were Emotional Reactivity and Emotional Cutoff, the

242

SKOWRON AND FRIEDLANDER


er,

.17
r

ER1

.36
1'

32
1r

ER3

ER2

.83

.15

if

^f

IP1

IP2

.51

1r

IP3

.92

34

.58

EC1

er,

.44

EC2

.82

EC3

.52

.51

.50

FO1

FO2

FO3

.70

Figure 1. Study 3: four-factor model confirmatory factor loadings, error variances, and correlations
among the latent variables (ER = Emotional Reactivity; IP = I Position; EC = Emotional Cutoff;
FO = Fusion With Others).

two subscales whose items reflect difficulties in handling


affect. (Differentiation scores obtained in Study 1 also
significantly predicted trait anxiety, a noteworthy indicator
of construct validity because, according to Bowen theory,
lack of differentiation is closely equated with chronic
anxiety; Kerr & Bowen, 1988.) These results, taken together,
suggest support for Bowen's (1976, 1978; Kerr & Bowen,
1988) contention that differentiation of self is an important
aspect of psychological well-being.
Taken together, the four DSI subscales also showed a
strong relationship with marital satisfaction. According to
Bowen theory (Bowen, 1978; Kerr & Bowen, 1988), marital
problems are created when spouses are less differentiated,
and the resulting reactivity or cutoff heightens their anxiety.
Emotional Cutoff scores also were found to uniquely predict
marital satisfaction. Such a result is consistent with Gottman
and KrokofTs (1989) longitudinal study of marital interac-

tion, in which "withdrawal from interaction," or cutoff,


predicted concurrent marital distress and deterioration in
marital satisfaction over time (p. 49). Perhaps further study
of differentiation and its relationship to marital satisfaction
may reveal that separation and divorce represent extreme
behavioral manifestations of emotional cutoff in relationships. Could increases in emotional cutoff or emotionally
avoidant defenses be a common cause or result of divorce? If
so, would such changes be state dependent or longstanding
in nature?
Other results revealed some interesting patterns in differentiation across age and gender. First, there was no relationship observed between age and scores on the I Position
subscale, suggesting that younger adults are just as capable
as their older counterparts of defining a self and behaving
autonomously (Bowen, 1978). With respect to gender,
Bowen (1978) asserted that no gender differences exist on

DIFFERENTIATION OF SELF

levels of differentiation. In contrast, sex role socialization,


self-in-relation, and feminist family theorists (e.g., Carter &
McGoldrick, 1988; Chodorow, 1978; Gilligan, 1982; Josselson, 1988; Luepnitz, 1988; Miller, 1976) would posit that
gender differences exist on differentiation, with women
more likely to endorse Emotional Reactivity items and men
more likely to endorse Emotional Cutoff items. The results
of our investigations revealed that women reported significantly greater emotional reactivity than did men. Conversely, no significant gendeT differences were observed on
Emotional Cutoff. Given that significant gender differences
were present on level of education (with men reporting
greater levels than women) and that samples comprised
unequal numbers of men and women, caution is advised in
interpreting the observed gender effects. We encourage
investigators to continue testing the DSI for gender differences, using equal numbers of men and women from other
socioeconomic strata and matched on relevant third variables to clarify the ways in which differentiation problems
are manifested across genders.
Although efforts were made to sample three separate,
heterogeneous groups of adults, future tests of the DSI are
needed, with new samples representing a wider range of
demographic variables. Results of the exploratory and
confirmatory factor analyses may have differed with different samples. Cross-validation is needed with larger samples,
and demographic characteristics of the respondents need to
be taken into account. The current respondents were, on
average, middle-aged, White, educated, employed individuals who were married and had children. In addition, no
test-retest reliability estimates were obtained for the DSI or
its subscales.
Ethnicity is another characteristic that should be taken
into account, because only approximately 10% of the
present samples identified themselves as minority members.
Further independent studies are needed with adults from
different ethnic groups, to test Bowen's (1978; Kerr &
Bowen, 1988) assertion that differentiation of self is universally applicable. We suspect that in Latino-Latina, Native
American, or Asian cultures, for example, Fusion With
Others might not correlate significantly with chronic anxiety, psychological symptoms, or marital dissatisfaction.
Perhaps in Asian cultures, where autonomy and selfassertion are less valued that in Western societies, I Position
scores may correlate positively (rather than negatively, as
reported here) with symptomatology and chronic anxiety.
These questions await future investigation.
One of the greatest challenges in creating a self-report
measure of differentiation is the difficulty inherent in
measuring a systemic construct in a reliable and valid
manner. Given the possibility for error due to monomethod
bias in the current studies, further support for the validity of
the DSI could be obtained by comparing adults' self-ratings
with Bowen experts' ratings of their levels of differentiation
obtained through structured clinical interviews (cf. Kerr &
Bowen, 1988). If the therapists' ratings closely reflect their
clients* self-reported scores, such a result would further
support the instrument's construct validity. Likewise, given
Bowen's (1978) proposition that chronic, debilitating disor-

243

ders occur with more frequency among those with lower


differentiation, further evidence for the DSI's construct
validity may be found by determining whether differentiation scores covary with severity of psychiatric diagnoses,
that is, major depressive disorder vs. dysthymic disorder;
alcohol dependence vs. abuse; or Axis II vs. Axis I disorders
(according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of
Mental Disorders; American Psychiatric Association, 1994).
It is expected that the DSI may contribute to the practice
of family therapy in several ways. First, the instrument may
provide a means for identifying individual differences in
various aspects of functioning that are purportedly stable
and central to a client's intrapsychic and interpersonal
well-being. Second, Bowen (1976, 1978) recommended
working only with the most differentiated person in a family,
theorizing that change achieved by this individual will
indirectly benefit the entire family system. Researchers
could test Bowen's assertion by comparing the effectiveness
of individual therapy with the most differentiated family
member versus traditional family systems therapy with all
family members present (cf. Szapocznik, Kurtines, Foote,
Perez-Vidal, & Hervis, 1983). Perhaps the DSI could be
used as a screening device to identify the family member
most likely to enter into and benefit from treatment.
Third, because the construct differentiation is multidimensional, a comparative analysis of a client's scores on the DSI
subscales may help pinpoint which aspect of differentiation
is most problematic (e.g., emotional reactivity or problems
taking an I position) and whether the client copes with his or
her interpersonal difficulties through, for example, fusion or
emotional cutoff. Indeed, an understanding of differentiation
provided by use of the DSI in future investigations could
result in important implications for treatment. For example,
emotional cutoff displayed by spouses in marital therapy
might suggest the need for interpersonal, experiential interventions (e.g., Greenberg & Johnson, 1988), whereas emotionally reactive young adults who are fused with their
parents might benefit more from an individual, insightoriented approach. Clients in the midst of marital separation
or postdivorce adjustment may benefit from family-of-origin
work (e.g., Framo, 1992) to gain insight into the nature of
their partner choices and decrease emotional cutoff and
reactivity in their intimate relationships.
Likewise, researchers might investigate whether couples
could benefit from premarital counseling that incorporates
use of the DSI. Could results of their scores on the four
subscales be used to facilitate discussion about which
aspects of differentiation are more difficult for each of them
and how their characteristic differentiation problems are
primarily expressed? For example, with respect to the
distance-pursue pattern frequently observed in couples and
noted in the family therapy literature (e.g., Friedlander,
Heatherington, Johnson, & Skowron, 1994; Guerin, Fogarty,
Fay, & Kautto, 1996; Minuchin & Nichols, 1993), might
emotional cutoff in one spouse be complemented (and
heightened) by greater fusion in the other, and vice versa?
Would couples in premarital counseling, who learn about
their contrasting differentiation styles in the context of
communication and problem-solving skills training, supple-

244

SKOWRON AND FRIEDLANDER

ment their skill development with a deeper understanding of


one another's characteristic styles of reacting to stress?
Finally, the DSI may lend itself to the examination of
client outcome in therapy. In future investigations, the DSI
could be used to test Bowen's (1978; Kerr & Bowen, 1988)
proposition that psychotherapy can produce moderate increases in a person's level of differentiation. Given that
differentiation scores are strongly associated with overall
psychological adjustment (as Bowen asserted), if the DSI
subscales are also demonstrated to be sensitive to changes in
the client's differentiation over the course of therapy,
increases in differentiation may be observed regardless of
the approach to treatment.

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{Appendix follows)

246

SKOWRON AND FRIEDLANDER

Appendix
Differentiation of Self Inventory
These are questions concerning your thoughts and feelings about yourself and relationships with others. Please read each statement carefully and decide
how much the statement is generally true of you on a 1 (nor at all) to 6 (very) scale. If you believe that an item does not pertain to you (e.g., you are not
currently married or in a committed relationship, or one or both of your parents are deceased), please answer the item according to your best guess about
what your thoughts and feelings would be in that situation. Be sure to answer every item and try to be as honest and accurate as possible in your responses.
Not at all
Very true
true of me
of me
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
23.
24.
25.
26.
27.
28.
29.
30.
31.
32.
33.
34.
35.
36.
37.
38.
39.
40.
41.
42.
43.

People have remarked that I'm overly emotional.


I have difficulty expressing my feelings to people I care for.
I often feel inhibited around my family.
I tend to remain pretty calm even under stress.
I'm likely to smooth over or settle conflicts between two people whom I care about.
When someone close to me disappoints me, I withdraw from him or her for a
time.
No matter what happens in my life, I know that I'll never lose my sense of who I am.
I tend to distance myself when people get too close to me.
It has been said (or could be said) of me that I am still very attached to my parent(s).
I wish that I weren't so emotional.
I usually do not change my behavior simply to please another person.
My spouse or partner could not tolerate it if I were to express to him or her my true feelings
about some things.
Whenever there is a problem in my relationship, I'm anxious to get it settled right away.
At times my feelings get the best of me and I have trouble thinking clearly.
When I am having an argument with someone, I can separate my thoughts about the issue
from my feelings about the person.
I'm often uncomfortable when people get too close to me.
It's important for me to keep in touch with my parents regularly.
At times, I feel as if I'm riding an emotional roller coaster.
There's no point in getting upset about things I cannot change.
I'm concerned about losing my independence in intimate
relationships.
I'm overly sensitive to criticism.
When my spouse or partner is away for too long, I feel like I am missing a part of me.
I'm fairly self-accepting.
I often feel that my spouse or partner wants too much from me.
I try to live up to my parents' expectations.
If I have had an argument with my spouse or partner, I tend to think about it all day.
I am able to say no to odiers even when I feel pressured by them.
When one of my relationships becomes very intense, I feel the urge to run away from it,
Arguments with my parent(s) or sibling(s) can still make me feel awful.
If someone is upset with me, I can't seem to let it go easily.
I'm less concerned that others approve of me than I am about doing what I think is
right.
I would never consider turning to any of my family members for emotional support.
Ifindmyselfthinkingalotaboutmy relationship with my spouse or partner.
I'm very sensitive to being hurt by others.
My self-esteem really depends on how others think of me.
When I'm with my spouse or partner, I often feel smothered.
I worry about people close to me getting sick, hurt, or upset.
I often wonder about the kind of impression I create.
When things go wrong, talking about them usually makes it worse.
I feel things more intensely than others do.
I usually do what I believe is right regardless of what others say.
Our relationship might be better if my spouse or partner would give me the space I need.
I tend to feel pretty stable under stress.

1
1
I
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1

2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2

3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3

4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4

5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5

6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6

1
1
1

2
2
2

3
3
3

4
4
4

5
5
5

6
6
6

1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
I
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1

2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2

3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3

4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4

5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5

6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6

2
2
2
2

Differentiation of Self Inventory Subscale Composition (underlined means reverse scored):


Emotional Reactivity: J_, 6, _10,14, _18, 21, 26, 30, 34, 38, 40
I Position: 4, 7,11, 15, 19,23,27,31,35,41,43
Emotional Cutoff: 2, 3, 8, .12,16, 20,24, 28, 32,36,39,42
Fusion With Others: 5,9, 13, 17,22,25,29, 33, 37

Received September 22, 1997


Revision received February 16, 1998
Accepted February 16,1998