While many theorists and clinicians believe that individuals with particular personality styles have similar primary issues, little comparative research has been done to test this assumption. In this dissertation, the author tested the hypothesis that individuals with particular personality styles would have similar manifest content themes to their early recollections. An examination was made of the literature pertaining to early recollections as reflections primary issues and major theories of personality development were reviewed in order to develop predictions of what specific differences might be found. Forty-eight adult outpatients (83% female) served as participants, categorized with a DSM-III-R Axis II cluster A, B, or C personality type via the Personality Disorder Subscales for the MMPI (Morey, Waugh & Blashfield, 1985). The Manaster-Perryman Manifest Content Early Recollections Scoring Manual (Manaster & Perryman, 1979) was used to score the manifest content of the early recollections. While Cluster C personality types were found to have significantly more recollections that took place in hospital settings than did Cluster A types, this finding had not been anticipated. The failure to find any of the predicted differences between the groups is discussed, suggestions are made for how to utilize early recollections diagnostically in light of the findings, and recommendations are made for future research.
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