The role of resources in the face of psychopathology

J Clin Psychol. 2020 Mar;76(3):406-422. doi: 10.1002/jclp.22884. Epub 2019 Nov 28.


Objectives: The current study compared resource realization and psychological distress in patients with different psychiatric diagnoses and healthy individuals and examined the moderating effect of intrapersonal resources (personal strengths) and interpersonal resources (relationships) on the association between incongruence (unsatisfactory realization of personal goals) and psychological distress.

Method: In total, 218 participants (45.87% female, mean age = 39.83 years) completed standardized questionnaires at one measurement point.

Results: Healthy individuals (n = 56) reported the most resources, followed by patients with psychotic (n = 53), substance use (n = 53), and depressive disorders (n = 56). While patients with psychotic disorders benefited from intra- and interpersonal resources, patients with depression only benefitted from intrapersonal resources. Patients with substance use disorders did not benefit from resources at all.

Conclusions: Depending on the diagnosis, patients evaluated their level of resources differently and benefitted in different ways. The results suggest that within psychotherapy, it might be useful to strengthen resources, especially for patients with depressive and substance use disorders.

Keywords: affective disorder; psychological distress; psychotic disorder; resources; substance use disorder.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Female
  • Healthy Volunteers / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychological Distress*
  • Psychopathology
  • Psychotherapy
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology*
  • Resilience, Psychological*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires