What measure of interpersonal dependency predicts changes in social support? Academic Article uri icon


  • One of the most intriguing characteristics of interpersonal dependency is its ability to predict elevated levels of social support. Yet studies of interpersonal dependency use various measures to assess this effect. In this study, I compared 3 commonly used measures of interpersonal dependency in terms of their prediction of social support: Hirschfield's Interpersonal Dependency Inventory (IDI; Hirschfeld et al., 1977), the dependency factor of the Depressive Experiences Questionnaire (DEQ; Blatt, D'Afflitti, & Quinlan, 1976), and the Dependency subscale of the Personal Style Inventory (PSI; Robins et al., 1994). A total of 152 undergraduates were administered these measures as well as measures of depressive symptoms and social support a week prior to their first exam period and a week after this period (interval time = 8 weeks). DEQ-dependency predicted an increase in social support, whereas PSI-Dependency and IDI predicted a decrease in social support over time. DEQ-dependency appears to capture better than the other 2 measures the dialectic tension between risk and resilience in interpersonal dependency.

publication date

  • January 1, 2008