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

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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.

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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.


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