Codependency: predictors and psychometric issues

J Clin Psychol. 1999 Jan;55(1):59-64. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-4679(199901)55:1<59::aid-jclp5>;2-m.


This study examined the relationships between codependency and age, gender, self-confidence, autonomy, and succorance, which is the quality of soliciting emotional support from others. The study also tested the validity of the Spann-Fischer Codependency Scale (Fischer, Spann, & Crawford, 1991). Ninety-five undergraduates completed a demographic sheet, the Adjective Check List (Gough & Heilbrun, 1983), the Spann-Fischer Codependency Scale, the Co-Dependents Anonymous Checklist (Whitfield, 1991), and a questionnaire developed for this study based on the work of Hemfelt, Minirth, and Meier (1989). As predicted, codependency was negatively related to self-confidence and positively related to succorance. However, contrary to expectation, a negative relationship between codependency and autonomy was not found. In addition, low self-confidence was the strongest predictor of codependency. Finally, all three measures of codependency were strongly related, attesting to the convergent validity of the Spann-Fischer Codependency Scale. Future studies should further investigate the role of emotional autonomy and codependency and should begin to utilize an experimental approach, making predictions regarding the behavior of codependent and noncodependent persons in experimental situations.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Codependency, Psychological*
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychometrics
  • Self Concept*
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Support*