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J Pers Assess. 1996 Apr;66(2):283-300.

The study of interpersonal problems: a Leary legacy.

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  • Department of Psychology, Stanford University, CA 94305-2130, USA.


The Inventory of Interpersonal Problems (IIP) is an instrument based on Leary's original theory that has been used to identify dysfunctional patterns in a person's interpersonal interactions. Interpersonal problems can be organized in 2 dimensions, and the 2-dimensional space can be divided into 8 equal sectors (octants). Subscales of the IIP describe problems in each of these octants. The instrument has been used to identify interpersonal problems that are discussed most often in a brief dynamic psychotherapy and problems that are treated most easily. The results show that problems in the "exploitable" octant improve most frequently, whereas problems in the "dominating," "vindictive," and "cold" octants do not improve as readily. We have also examined people's attachment styles in adulthood (following a model proposed by Bowlby) and found that different attachment styles correspond to different types of interpersonal problems.

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