by John Briere, PhD
Qualification Level: A (Psychologist)
Purpose: Assess difficulties in relatedness, identity, and affect control
Age: 18 years and older
Admin: Individual or group
Time: 10-15 minutes to complete; 10-15 minutes to score and profile
The IASC is a 63-item self-report measure of an individual's psychological functioning in three important areas:
- Capacity to form and maintain meaningful relationships.
- Capacity to maintain a stable sense of personal identity and self-awareness.
- Capacity to modulate and tolerate negative affect.
This brief measure was normed on 620 individuals (ages 18 years and older) from the general population. It facilitates assessment of critical psychological issues with individuals who have personality-level difficulties and/or a history of significant childhood trauma. The IASC is an ideal component of a comprehensive assessment of adult psychopathology. It helps to identify specific targets for treatment, such as identity disturbance or affect regulation problems; to predict potential problems that may arise during psychotherapy, such as idealisation-devaluation or easily triggered abandonment issues, and to provide clinical data to corroborate diagnostic hypotheses, especially those involving dysfunctional personality traits or disorders.
The IASC consists of seven 9-item scales, two of which have subscales, and it requires an 11 year reading level. Respondents rate the frequency of occurrence of each symptom item on a 5-point scale from Never to Very Often over the prior 6 months. The Professional Manual provides information on the development, administration, scoring, interpretation, and psychometric characteristics of the IASC, as well as normative data from the general population and validity data from university student and clinical samples.
Test results can help to corroborate and explore an Axis-II diagnosis (e.g., Borderline Personality Disorder) and improve treatment response by identifying specific areas of self-other difficulty that might interfere in the client-therapist relationship. This instrument is particularly useful with adults who have experienced clinically significant childhood abuse or trauma. It is also helpful for clinicians who provide cognitive-behavioural, dialectical behaviour, and interpersonal therapy to individuals with problems in self-regulation.