Do image of God and attachment to God moderate the effects of object relations on recovery among outpatients with schizophrenia -spectrum disorders?

Tracy A Prout, Fordham University


The central aims of this study were to investigate the relationships between object representations of mother and father and recovery and quality of life among outpatients, with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, and to examine the role of image of God (e.g. God object representation) and attachment to God in moderating those relationships. Although psychosis is typically characterized by a significant disruption in object representations and attachment styles (Greig et al., 2000; Morris & Wilze, 2002), individuals with psychotic illness often maintain a strong connection with the divine (Davidson, Harding, & Spaniol, 2005). The primary focus of this study was to better understand the qualities of primary object representations, God representations, and attachment to God which contribute to greater quality of life and recovery. This study also sought to identify aspects of these representations and attachment that may impede quality of life and recovery. Forty-six individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and attending one of the two day treatment programs participated in the study. Participants completed a demographic questionnaire, the Object Relations Inventory (ORI) which was used to assess representations of mother, father, and God, the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), the Attachment to God Inventory (AGI), the Schizophrenia Quality of Life Scale (SQLS-R4), and the Recovery Markers Questionnaire (RMQ). Benevolent representations of mother and father were associated with recovery whereas punitive representations were negatively associated with recovery. Similar relationships were found between parental representations and QOL, with the exception of benevolent mother representations and QOL which were correlated in the expected direction but did not achieve significance. Moderation was tested with simultaneous multiple regression. Secure attachment to God was found to buffer the relationship between punitive parental representations and recovery; however, this relationship was less pronounced for those with the most punitive parental representations. Secure attachment to God also amplified the association between benevolent representations of father and recovery. There was limited evidence that attachment to God had any impact on the association between parental representation and QOL. God representation appeared to have little impact on the relationship between parental representation and recovery or QOL, suggesting the need for a more robust instrument for assessing God representation.

Subject Area

Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

Prout, Tracy A, "Do image of God and attachment to God moderate the effects of object relations on recovery among outpatients with schizophrenia -spectrum disorders?" (2009). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3384646.