Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

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Volume 54 Issue 1 (March 1981), Pages 299-391

Level of ego development and psychotherapy outcome in phobic patients (pages 319-328)

Forty male and 86 female phobic outpatients were randomly assigned to three treatment conditions (behaviour therapy with Imipramine; behaviour therapy with placebo; and supportive therapy with Imipramine) and seen in therapy for a 26‐week period. They were initially assessed for level of ego development on Loevinger's Sentence Completion measure and evaluated for initial level of pathology and therapy outcome. A stepwise multiple regression analysis, performed separately for the female and male groups, yielded results as follows: (1) patients at the preconformist level improved significantly less than the patients at the other levels; (2) an interaction between the use of medication and level of ego development was also found, with postconformist patients reporting the least benefit from the drug. These findings were significant only for the female patients.

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