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Thirty-Third Annual Meeting of the Society for Research in Psychopathology

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131. General personality dysfunction and social anhedonia severity

Personality dysfunction and social anhedonia are common symptoms in psychiatric disorders. The alternative model of the DSM-5 defines general personality dysfunction as comprising of deficits in self-direction, identity, intimacy, and empathy. There is a lack of research examining the relationship between this personality functioning model and social anhedonia severity. To better understand these relationships, 1,334 university undergraduate students (62.7% female; mean age = 19.77, SD = 3.53) completed the Anticipatory and Consummatory Interpersonal Pleasure Scale (ACIPS) and the Level of Personality Functioning Scale (LPFS). A linear regression, covarying for age and sex, simultaneously entered the four LPFS factor scores and their interactions with sex, on the ACIPS total score. We found that, across both sexes, increased dysfunction in intimacy, self-direction, and identity, but not empathy, related to increased social anhedonia severity. For intimacy, the effect size was stronger in males, while it was stronger in females for identity. It is theoretically possible that impairments in identity, self-direction, and intimacy lead to increased social anhedonia over time, although longitudinal research is needed to clarify causal directions. However, empathy functioning may be related to separate underlying processes.

Samantha Simpson
University of Central Florida

Christopher Spencer
University of Central Florida

Diane Gooding
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Jeffrey Bedwell
University of Central Florida


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