Dispositional differences in seeking autonomy- or dependency-oriented help: Conceptual development and scale validation

Svetlana Komissarouk, Gal Harpaz, Arie Nadler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper presents integrated sets of studies testing whether stable personal tendencies in help-seeking behavior: autonomy-oriented (asking for help to learn how to fix a problem) versus dependency-oriented (asking someone else to fix it) could be established and reliably assessed. We report on the reliability and validation of a new self-report, Likert-scaled measurement of autonomous and dependent help-seeking styles. The five studies in three different cultural populations include exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, cross-cultural comparisons, analysis of ecological and predictive validity in both academic and job settings, and an examination of the questionnaire's convergent validity(total n = 1047). Self-reported preference for autonomy-oriented help predicted higher ratings of performance by supervisors in job settings. Dependency-oriented help seeking was found to be associated with an avoidance temperament and a performance avoidance goal orientation, and autonomy-oriented help seeking with an approach temperament and a mastery approach goal orientation. Suggestions for further theoretical research and practical applications of the new scale are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-112
Number of pages10
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume108
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2017

Keywords

  • Approach and avoidance
  • Autonomy
  • Cross-Cultural
  • Dependency
  • Help-seeking scale
  • Validation

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