Graceffo, Robert A; Mihura, Joni L; Meyer, Gregory J
The Mutuality of Autonomy scale (MA) is a Rorschach variable designed to capture the degree to which individuals mentally represent self and other as mutually autonomous versus pathologically destructive (Urist, 1977). Discussions of the MA's validity found in articles and chapters usually claim good support, which we evaluated by a systematic review and meta-analysis of its construct validity. Overall, in a random effects analysis across 24 samples (N = 1,801) and 91 effect sizes, the MA scale was found to maintain a relationship of r =.20, 95% CI [.16,.25], with relevant validity criteria. We hypothesized that MA summary scores that aggregate more MA response-level data would maintain the strongest relationship with relevant validity criteria. Results supported this hypothesis (aggregated scoring method: r =.24, k = 57, S = 24; nonaggregated scoring methods: r =.15, k = 34, S = 10; p =.039, 2-tailed). Across 7 exploratory moderator analyses, only 1 (criterion method) produced significant results. Criteria derived from the Thematic Apperception Test produced smaller effects than clinician ratings, diagnostic differentiation, and self-attributed characteristics; criteria derived from observer reports produced smaller effects than clinician ratings and self-attributed characteristics. Implications of the study's findings are discussed in terms of both research and clinical work.