Skip to comments.Insufferable Clinginess, or Healthy Dependence?
Posted on 03/08/2007 5:55:25 AM PST by shrinkermd
...To distinguish different shades, or varieties, of dependency, two psychologists, Aaron L. Pincus of Pennsylvania State and Michael B. Gurtman of the University of Wisconsin, Parkside, administered an exhaustive battery of dependency-related questionnaires to 654 psychology students. The scales rated everything from social confidence to preference for solitude to urges to please others. The psychologists analysis of the answers suggested that there were three distinct varieties of dependent behavior patterns.
One was defined predominantly by submissiveness (I dont have what it takes to be a good leader or I am easily downed in an argument). Another was characterized principally by exploitability (I am afraid of hurting peoples feelings or I do things that are not in my best interest in order to please others). And a third, which the psychologists call love dependency, was based on a longing for social connection (Being isolated from others is bound to lead to unhappiness or After a fight with a friend, I must make amends as soon as possible).
People who struggle with an exaggerated need for the comfort of others may show flashes of all three types. But it is this love dependency that is the most adaptive, Dr. Pincus said. These are people that form very strong attachments, who are not happy unless surrounded by friends and family and least likely to stumble over their own anxieties.
Dr. Weinstein, the Chicago-area therapist, said that in more than 30 years of practice she had seen dozens of couples in which submission and exploitation have ended marriages. And studies now suggest that in severely troubled, abusive relationships, the aggressor, as well as the victim, often have a dependent fear of losing the relationship.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
The flaws that are inherent in studies of this type include the fact that they are done on psychology students, a unique and self-selected group who may not represent the general population very well, and they are done with a questionnaire, which invites inaccurate answers. I wouldn't call this junk science but the methodology means that it has limited value.
Contrast this with research by Jerome Kagan and others showing a very strong correlation between fetal heart rate and subsequent fearfulness and introversion. In other words, these traits are genetic, inborn.
Skilled therapists can help people manage such fears, but there is little research to guide treatment
Translation; they take money for dispensing worthless advice. They're snake oil peddlers.
You can't teach someone to be tall, strong, smart, or good looking...and you almost certainly can't teach them to be brave either.
And then there's the kind
that puts on a diaper and
drives across country . . .
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