Moving Toward, Moving Against, and Moving Away: An Interpersonal Approach to Construct Validation of the Horney–Coolidge Type Inventory

Steven E. Carlson, Timothy W. Smith, Kimberly A. Parkhurst, Ruben Tinajero, Jeremy L. Grove, Christian Goans, Michiyo Hirai, John M. Ruiz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Karen Horney’s interpersonal theory of adjustment defined three different neurotic trends involving characteristic social behavior and motives: compliant (moving toward people), aggressive (moving against people), and detached (moving away from people). The Horney–Coolidge Type Inventory (HCTI) was developed to assess these trends, but has not been validated using standard methods in the interpersonal perspective. The studies reported here refined the structure of the HCTI, and utilized the structural summary method (SSM) to identify relationships of the three shortened HCTI trend scales with the interpersonal circumplex (IPC) in single university (n = 514) and multisite university (n = 3,283) samples. Results across both studies confirmed predicted interpersonal characteristics of each trend: Compliance was associated with warm submissiveness, aggression was associated with hostile dominance, and detachment was associated with hostile or cold submissiveness. However, analyses of facets within the three HCTI trend domains revealed significant differences. Results are discussed as a potential guide to further refinement of assessments of the Horney maladaptive trends, and support inclusion of Horney’s model in current interpersonal theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Personality Assessment
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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