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Date of Award


Degree Type

Dissertation (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Paula Truax, PhD

Second Advisor

Johan Rosqvist, PsyD

Third Advisor

Michel Hersen, PhD, ABPP


Sixty graduate students completed packets composed of clinical vignettes, the Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS), and a study questionnaire designed to measure practitioner judgments of Axis II personality disorder labels. Clinical vignettes sampled the three personality disorder clusters and represented diagnoses of schizoid, borderline, and avoidant . personality disorders. Three identical vignettes were also created, whicb differed in the absence of an Axis II personality disorder and addition of an Axis I disorder, and included dysthymic disorder, major depressive disorder, and social phobia. It was hypothesized, due to the negative effects of bias and stigma related to Axis II personality labels' that: 1) As compared to Axis I clients, Axis II clients would be rated lower for likeability, prognosis, willingness to accept the client into a practitioner's caseload, and treatment alliance, 2): An increased number of characterological interventions would be proposed for Axis II clients as compared to their Axis I counterparts, 3) Axis II clients would be rated higher for negative affective adjectives and Axis I clients would receive higher ratings for positive affective adjectives, and 4) Theoretical orientation would effect agreement with presented diagnoses. No significant differences were detected to support the study hypotheses and a number of explanations for the study's lack of agreement with the literature were proposed.


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