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Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 46, Issue 5, pp 1313–1323 | Cite as

Personality and Attachment in Transsexual Adults

  • Vittorio Lingiardi
  • Guido Giovanardi
  • Alexandro Fortunato
  • Valentina Nassisi
  • Anna Maria Speranza
Original Paper

Abstract

The main aim of this study was to investigate the associations between personality features and attachment patterns in transsexual adults. We explored mental representations of attachment, assessed personality traits, and possible personality disorders. Forty-four individuals diagnosed with gender identity disorder (now gender dysphoria), 28 male-to-female and 16 female-to-male, were evaluated using the Shedler–Westen assessment procedure-200 (SWAP-200) to assess personality traits and disorders; the adult attachment interview was used to evaluate their attachment state-of-mind. With respect to attachment, our sample differed both from normative samples because of the high percentage of disorganized states of mind (50% of the sample), and from clinical samples for the conspicuous percentage of secure states of mind (37%). Furthermore, we found that only 16% of our sample presented a personality disorder, while 50% showed a high level of functioning according to the SWAP-200 scales. In order to find latent subgroups that shared personality characteristics, we performed a Q-factor analysis. Three personality clusters then emerged: Healthy Functioning (54% of the sample); Depressive/Introverted (32%) and Histrionic/Extroverted (14%). These data indicate that in terms of personality and attachment, GD individuals are a heterogeneous sample and show articulate and diverse types with regard to these constructs.

Keywords

Transsexualism Gender dysphoria Gender identity disorder Attachment Personality 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors thank Luca Chianura and all the SAIFIP clinical staff for their collaboration for the research.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vittorio Lingiardi
    • 1
  • Guido Giovanardi
    • 1
  • Alexandro Fortunato
    • 1
  • Valentina Nassisi
    • 1
  • Anna Maria Speranza
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Dynamic and Clinic Psychology, Faculty of Medicine and PsychologySapienza University of RomeRomeItaly

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