Self-defeating behavior: the concept and validation of the selfdef-10 (self- defeating traits inventory)

Workshop name : Self-defeating behavior: the concept and validation of the selfdef-10 (self-  defeating traits inventory)
Presenter Name and Surname: Katerina Klapilova, M.Sc.,Ph.D
Workshop duration : 1,5 hr 

Biography of presenter :

MSc. Kateřina Klapilová, PhD. is assistant professor of psychology and researcher at the Faculty of Humanities, Charles University, Prague. Her main research area is female sexuality in evolutionary perspective. She run several studies on jealousy, infidelity and the phenomenon of sexual fantasy and she has studied the impact of hormonal contraception on partner choice and relationship stability. Currently she leads the research group of Evolutionary Sexology and Psychopathology at the National Institute of Mental Health, Czech republic, where she uses psychophysiological measures of sexuality to test sexuality of patients with various psychiatric diagnoses and she runs longitudinal studies of their relationship dynamics.

Workshop presentation :

Self-defeating behavior is defined as a behavior leading to failure, although the individual pursues a reasonable goal, which he/she is capable to achieve.  It is a frequent, although often unrecognized cause of human maladaptation, particularly in neurotic disorders.  Seeking a treatment for inflexible self-defeating behavior (SDB), the author (FK) established small psychoterapeutic communities consisting of 20-30 members, which mirror an ordinary social life.  The experience of psychoterapeutic communities, described in Integrated psychotherapy (Knobloch and Knobloch,1979) leads to the conviction that psychoterapeutic community has a unique capacity to identify SDB.

Here, we present the process of SELFDEF 10 designed to describe self-defeating behaviour and its positive changes caused by therapy.  The list of items of specific self-defeating traits was composed over many years with the help of psychiatric patients, the source being the daily meetings and diaries of patients in Day House, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. The SELFDEF 10 was designed by FK in 1973 after repeated factor analyses of previous versions. It has 118 bipolar items, all items are written in bipolar format, on a ten-point scale (an intensity ranging from e.g. harmful hypo-assertiveness (-4,3,2,1) to harmful hyper-assertiveness (+1,2,3,4).

The factor analyses showed 10 factor structure:

1. Sociability problems ; 2. Assertiveness p.; 3. Aggression p.; 4. Achievement p.; 5. Trust p.; 6. Self-esteem p.; 7. Cooperation p.; 8. Disclosure p.; 9. Courtship p.; 10. Authority p.

This study examines the SELFDEF 10 inventories of 517 psychiatric patients of Day House, who filled them before and after the treatment, the inventories of one of their significant persons (spouses, parents, friends) before and after the treatment, and the inventories of 4 fellow patients for every studied patient (4×517). The form of the treatment was integrated psychotherapy in a psychotherapeutic community lasting for six to eight weeks with aftercare of three weeks once a week.
Psychometric analysis (R. Broughton) revealed high internal consistency (average alpha=.90), inter-rater reliability (average ICC=.81) of the questionnaire and significant validity coefficients for patient and peer rating criterion measures (average+.40) were found. The 10 factor structure of the questionnaire was confirmed, test-retest reliability of factors ranged from 0.78 – 0.93.

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