Basic informations about Test of object relations

The Test of Object Relations (Zvelc, 1998a; Zvelc, 1998b) is a new self-report questionnaire for measuring object relations in adolescence and adulthood.

The Test of Object Relations is built according to the psychoanalytic object relations theory. It measures 6 basic dimensions of object relations:
- Symbiotic Merging
- Separation Anxiety
- Narcissizem
- Egocentricity
- Social Isolation
- Fear of Engulfment

This dimensions where found to be basic aspects of interpersonal relatedness according to psychoanalytic relational theories.

Description of dimensions:

1) SYMBIOTIC MERGING: the dimension refers to weak differentiation between self and other, to merging and feelings of oneness with others, to losing oneself in relations with other people, or to desires and longings for establishing symbiotic relationships.

2) SEPARATION ANXIETY: the dimension indicates difficulty in tolerating separation from significant others and fear of abandonment.

3) NARCISSISM: the dimension describes a grandiose and omnipotent experiencing of oneself.

4) EGOCENTRICITY: the dimension describes individuals, who experience other people as a means of satisfying their own needs. Their relationships are based on manipulation and exploitation. In their relationships the individuals act demanding, because they want other people to act according to their desires. They cannot feel empathy (the ability to imagine how another person is feeling) or establish a mutual relationship with others based on reciprocity.

5) FEAR OF ENGULFMENT: the dimension refers to individuals, who fear that in relationships with others they would lose their own identity, individuality or freedom (to be engulfed). This causes fear of intimate relationships, the want to be independent and therefore act counter-dependently.

6) SOCIAL ISOLATION: the dimension refers to an avoidance and lack of relationship with others and to a withdrawal into one’s own world. Alienation, a lack of intimate relationships, distrust, and self-sufficiency are typical for this dimension.

VALIDITY INDEX: a validity index is composed of items which detect 'random answering' or answering according to social desirability of answers.

Some other characteristics

The Test of Object Relations consists of 95 items, which correspond with six scales of object relations.
The test was built according to Loevinger's model of test construction, which includes three phases of validation: theoretical-substantive, internal-structural, and external-criterion. Items were first written according to the theory and selected on the basis of four psychotherapists, who work from object relations perspective. After that items were selected on the basis of psychometric characteristics.
TOO has good theoretical and internal-structural validity (Zvelc, 1998b). External validation is in progress. There are already some studies, which speak about external validity of TOO (Zvelc, 1998a; Zvelc, 1999; Zvelc, 2000; Kobal, 2001).

Invitation for using the PTSI in a research

PTSI is a new test used in different countries for research purposes.
If you're interested to use the test in your country,
please write to us for permission (gregor.zvelc@guest.arnes.si). PTSI is translated in English, Spanish and Croatian language.

More English informations for researchers you can find here:
  • Validity of Test of Object Relations. Informations for researchers.

    Basic references

    Zvelc, G. (1998a). Proces separacije-individualizacije ter objektni odnosi pri osebah, ki so odvisne od drog. [The separation-individuation process and object relations among drug addicts]. Ljubljana: Univerza v Ljubljani, Filozofska fakulteta, Oddelek za psihologijo.
    Zvelc, G. (1998b). Razvoj testa objektnih odnosov. [Development of the Test of Object Relations]. Psiholoska obzorja. Horizons of Psychology, vol.7, 3, 51-67.
    Zvelc, G. (1999). Znacilnosti medosebnih odnosov oseb, ki so vkljucene v metadonski vzdrzevalni program.
    Characteristics of the interpersonal relatedness among
    individuals, who are participants in the methadone maintenance program]. Povzetek prispevka, ki ga je avtor imel na 1. Slovenski konferenci o odvisnosti, 20-22.maja
    1999. [Abstract of the paper presented on the first Slovenian conference on addiction,20-22. May 1999].
    Zvelc, G. (2000). Znacilnosti objektnih odnosov oseb, ki so odvisne od drog.[Characteristics of the object relations of drug addicts]. Odvisnosti. [Addictions]. Leto (Year) 1, 1-2,21-27.
    Kobal, L. (2001). Razvoj diadnih odnosov v kontekstu prostovoljske organizacije. [Development of dyadic relationships in the context of voluntary organization].
    Magisterska naloga. Ljubljana: Univerza v Ljubljani, Filozofska fakulteta, Oddelek za psihologijo.

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