Date of Graduation
The purpose of this study was to examine and understand potential differences between psychologists who have engaged in a nonsexual and sexual dual relationship and psychologists who have not. Psychologists from across the United States (N = 59) completed questionnaires concerning object relations, parentification, narcissistic injury, self-esteem, and ethical judgment. Measures included a demographic questionnaire, the Bell Object Relations Inventory (BORI) with four subscales of alienation, insecure attachment, egocentricity, and social incompetence), the Parentification Questionnaire (PQ), the Narcissistic Injury Scale (NIS), the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSE), the Ethical Judgment Scale (EJS), and four open-ended questions regarding the experience of being sanctioned. In regard to demographic characteristics, two significant differences were found for the sanctioned groups. One, more males than females engaged in nonsexual and sexual dual relationships and two, there were more female than male client victims. Other notable demographic characteristics of the sanctioned groups include a mean age range at the time of the ethical violation of 45.6 years, 77% of the participants worked in private solo practice at the time of the ethical violation, and 25% of the nonsexual dual relationship group and 53% of the sexual dual relationship group were experiencing the loss of a significant relationship at the time of the ethical violation. A multivariate analysis of variance revealed no significant differences between group membership and the Bell Object Relations Inventory subscales. A multivariate analysis of variance revealed a significant main effect for group membership and the remaining measures (PQ, NIS, RSE, EJS). Subsequent analyses of variance revealed significant differences on the Narcissistic Injury Scale and Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale. Thus, the dual relationship groups reported more narcissistic injury in childhood and lower self-esteem than the control group. Multiple regression analyses revealed emotional, physical, and/or sexual abuse as important predictors for the dual relationship groups. Pearson product moment correlations were computed for each group to assess the relationship between the measures. Responses to the open-ended questions for the sanctioned groups were analyzed for themes. Finally, recommendations are offered for practice, training, licensing boards, and future research.
Ehlert, Debra Kristine, "A comparison of psychologists who engage in nonsexual and sexual dual relationships with psychologists who do not." (2002). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 8804.