Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology



First Advisor

Philip Wong

Committee Chair and Members

Philip Wong, Chair

Kevin Meehan

Nicole Cain


The aim of the present study was to gain a comprehensive understanding of the interaction amongst the behavioral, intrapsychic, and interpersonal domains of schizoid personality. A sample of 227 Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPG) players, ages 18 to 30, completed online self-report measures concerning maladaptive personality traits and several aspects of interpersonal functioning. The sample also provided narratives for Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) cards that were coded by the Mutuality of Autonomy Scale for the TAT (MOA-TAT) to measure schizoid self-other representations. Results showed that schizoid personality could be understood as a dimensional construct, specifically as a constellation of maladaptive personality trait facets of anhedonia, intimacy avoidance, withdrawal, and restricted affectivity according to the Alternative Model for Personality Disorders (AMPD). However, the relationship between schizoid personality and cold and socially avoidant interpersonal problems was not mediated by schizoid self-other representations, which are characterized by the intrapsychic fear of engulfment and traumatic impingement by others. Significant predictions of schizoid characteristics on interpersonal problems, values, and sensitivities allowed for an integrated understanding of how intrapsychic processes can affect various dimensions of interpersonal functioning in schizoid personality. An argument is made for the continued integration of scientific research and clinical observations to paint a more comprehensive picture of this understudied phenomena. Limitations of the study, clinical implications, and directions for future research are discussed.