Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School


Committee Member

Steven K. Huprich, PhD, Chair

Committee Member

Alissa C. Huth-Bocks, PhD

Committee Member

John H. Porcerelli, PhD


Early childhood interactions with parents form parental representations (PR) that have been empirically associated with psychopathology. The Assessment of Qualitative and Structural Dimensions of Object Representations scale (AOR; Blatt et al., 1992) is one measure of PR that benefits from measuring implicit processes and minimizing self-presentation; however, little research has examined its factor structure. The present study used archival data from four previous studies containing clinical and nonclinical samples totaling 722 participants. Individuals were divided into two groups: the first was analyzed using an exploratory factor analysis (EFA), and the second underwent a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) of the EFA model. Results of both the EFA and CFA suggested that a three-factor solution was best, which were labeled Agency, Communion, and Punitive based on previous research. The implications of these findings are explored within the framework of psychodynamic theory, particularly with regard to object splitting and the presence of a punitive superego.

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Psychology Commons