Inventory of Interpersonal Problems

The method to identify interpersonal difficulties

Leonard M. Horowitz, Lynn E. Alden, Jerry S. Wiggins, and
Aaron L. Pincus

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The Inventory of Interpersonal Problems (IIP) is a self-report instrument that identifies a person's most salient interpersonal difficulties. Even if a person begins a clinical interview by describing uncomfortable feelings or distressing thoughts, a large number of interpersonal problems usually surface within the first session. Understanding and resolving interpersonal problems is considered an important step for alleviating common symptoms and syndromes, including depression and anxiety.



Upon purchase of a License to Use, you will received both of the following forms:
The IIP-64 contains 64 statements describing common interpersonal problems.
The IIP-32 is a brief version containing a subset of 32 items developed for screening purposes.

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Includes non-reproducible instrument and scoring key, both marked “non-reproducible copy”

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Tutorial License to Use - purchasing options
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- You need Mind Garden's Online Survey if...
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The IIP Online Survey is available in two forms: IIP-32 and IIP-64. You will specify one of the forms when you order.

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MindGarden's Transform system
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100 $110.00 $132.00
150 $135.00 $162.00
200 $160.00 $192.00
250 $200.00 $240.00
300 $228.00 $274.00
350 $252.00 $302.00
400 $288.00 $346.00
450 $324.00 $389.00
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Tutorial Individual Reports

The IIP Individual Report is only available for the IIP-64 form.

Let us do the administration for you. We will send you a link to a unique and secure online "control panel" where you will enter clients names and email addresses. Clients will be sent an email with a secure url address to take the evaluation* in privacy at their convenience. You can monitor their progress from your control panel. Instruments will be scored and a report returned to you. Select the desired number of reports from the drop-down menu.
 * click here for web-browser compatibility information

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The following volume pricing applies:

Individual report$15.00 each
2-10 reports$14.00 each
11-20 reports$13.00 each
21-50 reports$12.00 each
51-100 reports$11.00 each

For larger quantities, please contact us

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Published versions of the IIP are available in the following languages.

German: Beltz Test GmbH, Göttingen, Germany

Danish and Norwegian: Hogrefe Psykologisk Forlag A/S, Virum, Denmark

Arabic, Finnish, Malay, Polish, and Spanish: Mind Garden, Inc (click here and then click Translations)

Swedish: Hogrefe Psykologiforlaget AB, Stockholm, Sweden

To inquire about the possibility of translating the IIP into other languages, please use the translations page.


The IIP enables examinees to describe the kinds of interpersonal problems that have been most salient in their recent experience across diverse interpersonal situations. The items provide representative interpersonal problems that are commonly reported in initial interviews. Summary scores that the test provides help in interviewing the person for prospective positions in the business world. The IIP is also often used in counseling and psychotherapy (group as well as individual treatments), where it is used to help clients and psychotherapists focus on specific difficulties and later assess changes that have occurred since treatment began. Researchers from many different theoretical perspectives have used the IIP to compare success in treating (a) different psychiatric syndromes and (b) different personality disorders. It also enables researchers to compare the efficacy of different forms of treatment. It is frequently used in research in personality and social psychology to compare the interpersonal problems of individuals with different personality characteristics (e.g., different attachment styles) in different types of situations. It also provides a quick graphical profile that clients can easily understand.

Scale Descriptions

Domineering/ Controlling - A high score indicates that the person finds it difficult to relax control over other people. People with high scores have described themselves as too controlling or manipulative.

Vindictive/Self-Centered - A high score indicates problems of hostile dominance. The person readily experiences and expresses anger and irritability, is preoccupied with getting revenge, and fights too much with other people.

Cold/Distant - A high score indicates minimal feelings of affection for and little connection with other people.

Socially Inhibited - A high score indicates feelings of anxiety, timidity, or embarrassment in the presence of other people.

Nonassertive - A high score indicates a severe lack of self-confidence, low self-esteem, and severe reluctance to assert oneself over other people.

Overly Accommodating - A high score indicates excessive readiness to yield in a friendly way to the influence of others.

Self-Sacrificing - A high score indicates a strong tendency to empathize with others in need and nurture them, even when doing so requires the person to sacrifice one's own needs for the sake of those who seem to be in need.

Intrusive/Needy - A high score indicates a need to be both friendly and controlling. People with high scores describe themselves as excessively friendly, outgoing, and sociable to an extreme degree that other experience as excessively intrusive into their affairs.


The IIP normative sample was based on a national standardization sample of 400 men and 400 women aged 18-89. A stratified sampling plan ensured that the standardization samples included representative proportions of adults according to the selected demographic variables of gender, age, race/ethnicity, and education.

Item Example

Directions: People have reported having the following problems in relating to other people. Please read the list below, and for each item, consider whether it has been a problem for you with respect to any significant person in your life. Then, using the following choices, circle the response that describes how distressing that problem has been for you.

Not at all A little bit Moderately Quite a bit Extremely
0 1 2 3 4

The following are things you find hard to do with other people.

It is hard for me to:
  Be firm when I need to be. 0 1 2 3 4
  Understand another person's point of view. 0 1 2 3 4
  Take instructions from people who have authority over me. 0 1 2 3 4

The following are things that you do too much.
  I try to control other people too much 0 1 2 3 4
  I tell personal things to other people too much. 0 1 2 3 4

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Key References

Horowitz, L. M. (2004). Interpersonal Foundations of Psychopathology. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

Horowitz, L. M., & Wilson, K. R. (2005). Interpersonal motives and personality disorders. In S. Strack (Ed.). Handbook of Personology and Psychopathology (pp. 495-510). New York: Wiley & Sons.

Horowitz, L. M., Wilson, K. R., Turan, B., Zolotsev, P., Constantino, M. J., & Henderson, L. (2006). How interpersonal motives clarify the meaning of interpersonal behavior: A revised circumplex model. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 10, 1, 67-86.

Horowitz, L. M., Turan, B., Wilson, K. R., & Zolotsev, P. (2008). Interpersonal theory and the measurement of interpersonal constructs (pp. 420-439). In G. J. Boyle, G. Matthews, D. H. Saklofske (Eds.) Sage Handbook of Personality Theory and Assessment: Vol. 2. Personality Measurement and Testing. London: Sage.

Horowitz, L. M., Turan, B., Wilson, K. R., & Zolotsev, P. (2008). Interpersonal theory and the measurement of interpersonal constructs. Personality Theory and Assessment, 2, London: Sage.

Horowitz, L. M. & Strack, S. N., Eds. (2010). Handbook of Interpersonal Psychology: Theory, Research, Assessment, and Therapeutic Interventions. New York: Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Locke, K. D. (2000). Circumplex scales of interpersonal values: Reliability, validity, and applicability to interpersonal problems and personality disorders. Journal of Personality Assessment, 75, 249-267.

Pincus, A. L., & Wiggins, J. S. (1990). Journal of Personality Disorders, 4, 342-352.

Additional References

Eldredge, K. L., Locke, K. D., & Horowitz, L. M. (1998). Patterns in interpersonal problems associated with binge eating disorder. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 23, 383-389.

Gurtman, M. B. (1994). The circumplex as a tool for studying normal and abnormal personality: A methodological primer. In S. Strack & M. Lorr (Eds.). Differentiating normal and abnormal personality (pp. 243-263). New York: Springer.

Gurtman, R. (1996). Interpersonal problems and the psychotherapy context: The construct validity of the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems. Psychological Assessment, 8, 241-255.

Hardy, G. E., Barkham, M. Shapiro, D. A., Rees, A., Stiles, W. B., & Reynolds, S. (1995). Impact of Cluster C personality disorders on outcomes of contrasting brief psychotherapies for depression. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 63, 997-1004.

Kachin, K. E., Newman, M. G., & Pincus, A. L. (2001). An interpersonal problem approach to the division of social phobia subtypes. Behavior Therapy, 32, 479-501.

Lejuez, C. W., Daughters, S. B., Nowak, J. A., Lynch, T., Rosenthal, M. Z., & Kosson, D. (2003). Examining the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems as a tool for conducting analogue studies of mechanisms underlying Borderline Personality Disorder. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 34, 313-324.

Locke, K. D. (2000). Circumplex scales of interpersonal values: Reliability, validity, and applicability to interpersonal problems and personality disorders. Journal of Personality Assessment, 75, 249-267.

Matano, R. A., & Locke, K. D. (1995). Personality disorder scales as predictors of interpersonal problems of alcoholics. Journal of Personality Disorders, 9, 62-67.

Monsen, J. T., Hagtvet, K.A., Havik, O. E., & Eilertsen, D. E. (2006). Circumplex structure and personality disorder correlates of the interpersonal problems model: Construct validity and clinical implications. Psychological Assessment, 18, 165-173.

Pincus, A. L., & Ansell, E. B. (2003). Interpersonal theory of personality. In T. Millon & M. Lerner (Eds.). Comprehensive handbook of psychology: Personality and social psychology (Vol. 5, pp. 209-229). New York: Wiley.

Pincus, A. L., & Wiggins, J. S. (1990). Interpersonal problems and conceptions of personality disorders. Journal of Personality Disorders, 4, 342-352.

Riding, N., & Cartwright, A. (1999). Interpreting the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems: Subscales based on an interpersonal theory model. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 72, 407-420.

Spitzer, C., Siebel-Jurges, U., Barnow, S., Grabe, H., & Freyberger, H. J. (2005). Alexithymia and interpersonal problems. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 74, 240-246.

Vanheule, S., Desmet, M., & Rosseel, Y. (2006). The factorial structure of the Dutch translation of the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems: A test of the long and short versions. Psychological Assessment, 18, 112-117.

Vittengl, J.R., Clark, L. A., & Jarrett, R.B. (2003). Interpersonal problems, personality pathology, and social adjustment after cognitive therapy for depression. Psychological Assessment, 15, 29-40.

Weinryb, R. M., Gustavsson, J. P., Hellstrom, C., Anderson, E., Broberg, A., & Rylander, G. (1996). Interpersonal problems and personality characteristics: Psychometric studies of the Swedish version of the IIP. Personality and Individual Differences, 20, 13-23.

Woodward, L. E., Murrell, S. A., & Bettler,R.F., Jr. (2005). Stability, reliability and norms for the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems. Psychotherapy Research, 15, 272-286.

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