The Ego Impairment Index: A validation study of its usefulness as a prognostic tool with an inpatient psychiatric population of children

Jennifer Anne Powell-Lunder, Pace University


This study evaluated the prognostic validity of the Ego Impairment Index (Perry & Viglione, 1991) on an inpatient psychiatric population of children. The scale is an amalgamation of Beres' (1956) model of ego assessment consisting of five Rorschach measures considered key components in identifying psychopathology in the Exner (1993) Comprehensive Scoring System. These measures are subsequently computed to produce a single score which gauges overall ego impairment. Participants included sixty-one children (13 females, 48 males) ranging in age from 5–12 years chosen as a subset from an existing database collected as part of a longitudinal child treatment outcome study conducted at a private northeast psychiatric hospital. Informants included parent/guardians, nursing staff, and trained research raters. Results indicated that the EII was not related to age or IQ. A statistically significant correlation to gender was observed (r = .31, p = .019) with the females in the sample having higher EII scores. All groups demonstrated significant treatment gains on the majority of symptom scales as a result of hospitalization. Both the Low and Moderate EII groups either improved or maintained treatment gains. The High EII group however, demonstrated a significant increase in symptoms at 120 days post-treatment, with symptom levels close to those observed at the time of their admission to the hospital. This difference between the groups was observed even after the initial level of psychopathology was statistically controlled. Additional analysis ruled out the possibility that these results were due to a difference in psychopharmacological treatment or restrictiveness of discharge setting. The results of this study indicate the use of the EII as a tool, which can specifically detect the most severely disturbed children who may be prone toward relapse. This may can aid the clinician in developing more effective treatment and discharge plans, thereby reducing the risk for early relapse.

Subject Area

Psychotherapy|Personality|Psychological tests|Mental health

Recommended Citation

Powell-Lunder, Jennifer Anne, "The Ego Impairment Index: A validation study of its usefulness as a prognostic tool with an inpatient psychiatric population of children" (2002). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI3069569.



Remote User: Click Here to Login (must have Pace University remote login ID and password. Once logged in, click on the View More link above)