Assessment of Dependency, Agreeableness, and Their Relationship

Jennifer Ruth Lowe, Maryanne Edmundson, Thomas A. Widiger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Agreeableness is central to the 5-factor model conceptualization of dependency. However, 4 meta-analyses of the relationship of agreeableness with dependency have failed to identify a consistent relationship. It was the hypothesis of the current study that these findings might be due in part to an emphasis on the assessment of adaptive, rather than maladaptive, variants of agreeableness. This hypothesis was tested by using experimentally altered NEO Personality Inventory-Revised (Costa & McCrae, 1992) items that were reversed with respect to their implications for maladaptiveness. The predicted correlations were confirmed with the experimentally altered version with measures of dependent personality disorder, measures of trait dependency (including 2 measures of adaptive dependency), and measures of dependency from alternative dimensional models of personality disorder. The theoretical implications of the findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-553
Number of pages11
JournalPsychological Assessment
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2009


  • agreeableness
  • dependency
  • five-factor model
  • personality disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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