Skip to main content

Psychology Master's Student Earns Research Grant from the Society for Personality Assessment

Caitlin Cassidy will study the link between sibling relationships and the capacity for intimacy in adulthood

Caitlin Cassidy, Villanova Psychology master's student

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova Psychology master's student Caitlin Cassidy earned a $500 student research grant from the Society of Personality Assessment (SPA) to investigate the role of attachment styles in early sibling relationships and corresponding personality functioning in adulthood.

"In particular, I am interested in studying the link between early experiences with siblings and one's capacity for intimacy in adulthood," Cassidy said.

Cassidy explained that she will be assessing this relationship using the Levels of Personality Functioning Scale (LPFS), which is the associated measurement for the Alternative Model of Personality Disorders (AMPD). The AMPD, a contemporary model for diagnosing personality disorders, proposes diagnosing within a dimensional framework that views personality features along a continuum; intimacy is one of the four assessed constructs.

Cassidy plans to complete her study in time to present it at the SPA convention in San Diego in March.

SPA is an international organization dedicated to the development of methods of personality assessment, the advancement of research on their effectiveness, the exchange of ideas about the theory and practice of assessment and the promotion of the applied practice of personality assessment.

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenged and changing world. With 39 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.