Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

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Volume 75 Issue 3 (September 2002), Pages 239-363

Measuring vulnerability to threats to self‐construction: The Self and Other Scale (pages 279-293)

Following a constructivist approach, we propose two dimensions or styles of self‐construction that arerelated to different types of vulnerability to psychopathology. We have called these an ‘insecure self’ style associated with fear of exclusion, indifference, and rejection by significant others, and an ‘engulfed self’ style associated with fear of intrusion, control, and possession by significant others. In this paper, we report the psychometric properties of a new 14‐item questionnaire, the Self and Other Scale (SOS), which is designed to measure the two types of threat vulnerability. We have produced two forms of the scale, one measuring frequency of beliefs, which was completed by 198 undergraduate psychologists, and one measuring endorsement of beliefs, which was completed by 179 undergraduate psychologists. The SOS has a 2‐factor structure, as predicted from the theoretical model, and good internal reliability. We discuss the future development and use of the scale in research and clinical practice.

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