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Image of God and personality pathology: an exploratory study among psychiatric patients

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The associations between personality pathology according to DSM-IV, symptomatology and God image were examined among a group of 46 psychiatric patients. Features of personality disorders were assessed using the 'Questionnaire to Assess Personality Pathology', a self-report screener. God image was measured by means of the 'Questionnaire God Image'. Symptomatology was assesed by means of the SCL-90. The more personality pathology present, the more negative the image of God. The negative image of God appeared to be associated with personality pathology, in particular with pathology from the DSM-IV A- and C-cluster, even after controlling for the influence of symptomatology, suggesting that the association between symptomatology and the God image is mediated by personality pathology. When symptoms of the A-cluster are present God is experienced as detached and passive. When C-cluster symptoms prevail, God is experienced as a harsh judge. Results are discussed both from a psychodynamic object-relational as well as from a cognitive schema focused perspective.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2002

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