Drivers and Self Ego States in Social Cognitive TA: a research on drivers as protective strategies

Main Article Content

Laura Bastianelli
Davide Ceridono


The work presents a synthesis of a set of studies of a correlational research conducted by Scilligo and co-workers on drivers and their relationship with the developmental Self-integration. Drivers are examined in the light of their historical development in TA. A definition is adopted that sees the drivers as normative protective strategies that can acquire dysfunctional connotations both when they are absent and when they are present in a rigid and “out of context” way. Self-integration is defined in term of self-perception of Self Ego state according to Social Cognitive TA. Subjects (N= 700) were adults, mostly university students and trainees in clinical psychology. The five drivers (Hurry Up, Please Me, Try Hard, Be Strong, Be Perfect) were measured with the Espero self-report questionnaire (Scilligo, 2005) and Self Ego States were measured with the Anint self-report questionnaire based on SASB (Benjamin, 1974, 2000; Scilligo & Benjamin, 1993, Scilligo 2005) by which 12 prototypical Ego states are operationally defined according to SCTA (Scilligo, 2009; De Luca e Tosi, 2011).

Different studies were conducted for men and women, concerning Ego states for three levels of each of the five drivers. Results show, for all the drivers, that an average level of the driver is related with Self Ego State profiles indicating good integration both for men and women. High level of the driver is related with less integration of Self, except for Be Strong and Be Perfect in men, which result is associated to a functional profile of Ego states. Low level of the drivers is related to less integration of Ego states except for Be Strong in women, and for Hurry Up both for men and women. Results support the hypothesis of a non-linear relationship between drivers and Self-integration, with better levels of integration in subjects with average levels of drivers.

Article Details

How to Cite
Bastianelli, L., & Ceridono, D. (2020). Drivers and Self Ego States in Social Cognitive TA: a research on drivers as protective strategies. International Journal of Transactional Analysis Research & Practice, 4(1), 30-38.


Bastianelli, L., Centofanti, S., Scilligo, P., (2004). La controingiunzione Spicciati e gli Stati dell’Io Sè. La controingiunzione Spicciati e gli Stati dell’Io Sè. Psicologia Psicoterapia e Salute, 10, 39-50
Bastianelli, L., D’Aversa, C., Scilligo, P., (2004) Psicologia Psicoterapia e Salute, 10, 21-37.
Benjamin, L.S. (1974). Structural analysis of social behavior (SASB). Psychological Review, 81, 392-425.
Benjamin, L. S. (1996). Interpersonal theory of personality disorders. In J. F. Clarkin and M. F. Lenzenveger (Eds.) Theories of Personality Disorders. New York: Guilford Press.
Benjamin, L. S. (2000). Intrex user’s manual. Salt Lake City: University of Utah.
Benjamin, L. S. (2003). Interpersonal Reconstructive Therapy. Promoting change in non-responders. New York: Guilford Press.
Berne, E. (1968). A layman’s guide to psychiatry and psychoanalysis. New York: Simon and Shuster.
Berne, E. (1970). Sex in Human Loving. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Bove, S., D’Aversa, C., Scilligo, P., Carpineto, L. (2004) La controingiunzione Sii Forte e gli Stati dell’Io Sè. Psicologia Psicoterapia e Salute, 10, 75-84.
Caizzi, C., Bove, S., Scilligo, P., (2004) La controingiunzione Sii Perfetto e gli Stati dell’Io Sè. Psicologia Psicoterapia e Salute, 10, 85-94
Ceridono, D., Gubinelli, M., Scilligo, P. (2009). Gli Stati dell’Io nell’Analisi Transazionale Socio-Cognitiva: la definizione dimensionale. Idee in Psicoterapia, 2, N° 2, 85-100.
Clarkson, P. (1992). In praise of speed, experimentation, agreeableness, endurance, and excellence: counterscript drivers and aspiration. Transactional Analysis Journal, 22, 16-20.
Conway, N. V. (1978). Drivers and dying. Transactional Analysis Journal, 8, 345-348.
D’Aversa, C., Caizzi, C., Scilligo, P., (2004) La controingiunzione Dacci Dentro e gli Stati dell’Io Sè. Psicologia Psicoterapia e Salute, 10, 61-74.
De Luca, M.L., Tosi , M.T. (2012). Social-Cognitive Transactional Analysis : An introdution to Pio Scilligo’s model of Ego states. Transactional Analysis Journal, 41, No 3, 206-220.
Gellert, S. D. (1975). Drivers. Transactional Analysis Journal, 5, 422-428.
Goulding, R. L., Goulding McClure, M. (1979). Il cambiamento di vita nella terapia ridecisionale. Roma: Astrolabio.
Guglielmotti, F., D’Aversa, C., Scilligo, P., Schietroma, S. (2004) La controingiunzione Compiaci e gli Stati dell’Io Sè. Psicologia Psicoterapia e Salute, 10, 49-60.
Hazell, J. W. (1989). Drivers as Mediators of stress response. Transactional Analysis Journal, 19, 212-223.
Johnson, D. (1997). Working styles: the application of the concept of Drivers to owner-managers of small Businesses. Transactional Analysis Journal, 27, 65-75.
Kahler, T. & Capers, H (1974). The Miniscript. Transactional Analysis Journal, 4, 26-42.
Kahler, T. (1975). Scripts: Process and Content. Transactional Analysis Journal, 5, 277-279.
Kahler, T. (1975). Drivers: the key to the process of scripts. Transactional Analysis Journal, 5, 280-284.
Mescavage, A., Silver, C. (1977). «Try Hard» and «Please Me» in psychological development. Transactional Analysis Journal, 7, 331-334.
Scilligo, P. (2000). Il questionario ANINT-A36: uno strumento per misurare la percezione di sé. Psicologia Psicoterapia e Salute, 6, 1-35.
Scilligo, P. (2003). Defining Ego States in relational and developmental terms. EATA Newsletter, n. 79, February 2004, 7-13.
Scilligo, P. (2005). La nuova sinfonia dei molti Sé. Roma: LAS.
Scilligo, P. (2009). Analisi Transazionale Socio Cognitiva. Roma: LAS.
Scilligo, P., and Benjamin, L. S. (1993). L’analisi strutturale del comportamento interpersonale. In Scilligo, P. (a cura di), Sistemi intrapsichici e interpersonali. Roma: IRPIR.
Scilligo, P., & De Luca, M. L. (1997). Copione del terapeuta e alleanza terapeutica. Psicologia Psicoterapia e Salute, 3, 1-20.
Scilligo, P., D'Aversa, C., Liverano, A., Schietroma, S., Guglielmotti, F., Miletta, C., Flora, C. (1999). Il questionaro ESPERO: la misurazione delle ingiunzioni e delle controingiunzioni. Psicologia Psicoterapia e Salute, 5:, 137-164.