Close relation of interpersonal sensitivity with negative core beliefs about the self, the central construct of cognitive vulnerability to depression

Psychiatry Res. 2018 May:263:162-165. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2018.03.015. Epub 2018 Mar 6.


Interpersonal sensitivity is a personality trait linked with anxious attachment conceptualized in attachment theory. This personality trait is comprised of four components, i.e., interpersonal awareness, separation anxiety, timidity and fragile inner-self, which are measured by the corresponding subscales of the Interpersonal Sensitivity Measure (IPSM). Meanwhile, one study showed that six items of the IPSM tentatively used as negative self-schemas predicted the onset of depression. To clarify if interpersonal sensitivity reflects cognitive vulnerability, we examined the relation of this personality trait with negative core beliefs about the self. The study population consisted of 335 Japanese volunteers. Interpersonal sensitivity was measured by the IPSM, and negative core beliefs about the self were assessed by the negative-self subscale of the Brief Core Schema Scales (BCSS). Multiple regression analysis showed that scores of the four subscales of the IPSM were strongly correlated with those of the negative-self subscale of the BCSS (P < 0.001). Similarly, sequential equation modeling demonstrated that the four components of interpersonal sensitivity were strongly predicted by core beliefs of negative-self (P < 0.001). The present study shows that interpersonal sensitivity is closely related to negative core beliefs about the self, suggesting that this personality trait can be regarded as a cognitive vulnerability to depression.

Keywords: Core belief; Interpersonal sensitivity; Negative-self; Self-schema.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Anxiety, Separation / diagnosis
  • Anxiety, Separation / psychology*
  • Awareness
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Personality Tests*
  • Pessimism / psychology*
  • Self Concept*
  • Young Adult