Development of a scale to measure interpersonal sensitivity

Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 1989 Sep;23(3):341-51.


We describe the development of a self-report measure (the Interpersonal Sensitivity Measure or IPSM). The IPSM generates a total score as well as five sub-scale scores: interpersonal awareness, need for approval, separation anxiety, timidity and fragile inner-self. Its reliability is demonstrated by high internal consistency in two separate groups, and by stability in scores over time in a non-clinical group. Studies of a clinical group of depressives showed change in scale scores following improvement in the depressive state, suggesting some sensitivity of the measure to mood state. The IPSM appears related to measures of neuroticism and to low self-esteem but not to a modified concept of neuroticism, emotional arousability. The constructs contributing to interpersonal sensitivity and their relevance to depression are considered. Some preliminary findings of higher scores in depressives compared to non-depressives are reported.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Arousal*
  • Awareness
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Personality Tests*
  • Psychometrics
  • Rejection, Psychology*
  • Social Adjustment