Interpersonal problems across anxiety, depression, and eating disorders: A transdiagnostic examination

Peter Mcevoy, Melissa Burgess, Andrew Page, P Nathan, A Fursland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives

Integrative models of psychopathology suggest that quality of interpersonal relationships is a key determinant of psychological well-being. However, there is a relative paucity of research evaluating the association between interpersonal problems and psychopathology within cognitive behavioural therapy. Partly, this may be due to lack of brief, well-validated, and easily interpretable measures of interpersonal problems that can be used within clinical settings. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the psychometric properties, factor invariance, and external validity of the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems 32 (IIP-32) across anxiety, depression, and eating disorders.

Methods

Two treatment-seeking samples with principal anxiety and depressive disorders (AD sample, n = 504) and eating disorders (ED sample, n = 339) completed the IIP-32 along with measures of anxiety, depression, and eating disorder symptoms, as well as quality of life (QoL).

Results

The previously established eight-factor structure of the IIP-32 provided the best fit for both the AD and ED groups, and was robustly invariant across the two samples. The IIP-32 also demonstrated excellent external validity against well-validated measures of anxiety, depression, and eating disorder symptoms, as well as QoL.

Conclusion

The IIP-32 provides a clinically useful measure of interpersonal problems across emotional and ED.

Practitioner Points

The IIP-32 is a brief, valid, internally reliable, and clinically useful measure of interpersonal problems for clients with anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. Difficulty being sociable and a tendency to subjugate oneself by prioritizing others’ needs were consistently associated with more severe anxiety, depression, and eating disorders symptoms, as well as poorer quality of life.
The IIP-32 may be a useful measure of interpersonal problems to guide individualized case formulations.

Cautions/Limitations

A cross-sectional and correlational design precluded causal conclusions. Numerous versions of the IIP have been developed. Our findings with the IIP-32 require replication. Some anxiety and depression diagnoses were underrepresented, and the eating disorders sample was predominantly comprised of women.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129–147
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Psychology
Volume52
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

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