Transactional Analysis (TA) approach was developed by Eric Berne and has been widely applied in numerous psychological constructs. In essence, the TA has incorporated the use of integrative and relational psychological approach based on six components namely: Transactions, Contacts, Ego States, Life Script, Life positions and Time Structuring. The Ego State is perhaps the most fundamental concept of TA as it provides an ideal platform for comprehending personality. The ego state may be defined as the regular pattern of experiencing emotions and cognizance in the context of a behavioral model. The development of ego states may be attributed to the natal and pre-natal experiences, and the amalgamation of all ego-states together comprises personality. In an attempt to explain interpersonal relationships, the TA employs its systematic structure and philosophy thus creating a reliable conceptual framework (Boholst, 2002). The primary principle that is evident in TA is understanding the role of needs in relationship systems where the need of contact is essential for every individual. Contact may be defined as the conventional interactions between people and their environment as they execute their activities of daily living. Indeed, these interactions signify the commencement of scrutiny and interpretation of the events occurring around an individual. In the long run, a person forms an opinion about themselves following contact and subsequent reactions based on the generated view. Thus, an individual develops a series of life scripts that predominantly comprise of self-opinions which influence how people behave in social spaces once they come of age. The constructs of TA posit that individuals chronologically schedule this life script since childhood. In most cases, each may structure the life positions in six different ways namely, psychological games, withdrawal, past times, intimacy, activity, and ritual. Principles of Life Position Scale
The primary state through which individuals develop perceptions of themselves is referred to as life position. The conceptualization of life position is not only limited to the perceptions of oneself or others but also incorporates the psychological state of an individual which is largely comprised of the recognition of behavioral patterns, cognizance, and emotions I relation to themselves and others. TA states that naturally, human beings may conduct themselves through assuming four different life positions. The first on present the perception "I am OK, You are OK" where the fundamental notion holds that people are important and life is worth living. In essence, individuals who assume this life position are often compassionate, objective, friendly, reassuring, creative and realistic. Studies indicate that these such individuals were to behave rationally; they would be in pole position of solving problems concerning themselves or other and also achieving their overall expectations. The second life position endorses the ideology that "I am OK, You are not OK where the primary tenets are centered on outward projection. This implies that people in this life position attempt to deceive or undercut other as they feel themselves being misled or undermined (Isgor, Kaygusuz & Ozpolat, 2012). Such individuals illustrate characteristics such constantly criticizing others, being oppressive and intolerant to the mistakes made by others. Moreover, such individuals often hold other responsible for their predicament since the dominant perception is that the life of others is not as valuable as that of a single individual. The third life position endorses the notion that "I am not OK, You are OK" which signifies inward projection. This implies that such individuals perceive themselves as being inferior when compared to others. The dominant characteristic demonstrated by individuals in this life position is distancing themselves from others while the majority also report cases of depression. The last life position holds that "I am not Ok, You are not OK" and such individuals illustrate characteristics which may be deemed unhealthy. These include neglect, rebelliousness, indulgence in drugs and risky sexual behavior and instances of being irresponsible. Every individual who has attained adulthood defines their lives based on these positions which offer the fundamental comprehension about the concept of self and others in the justification of behavior. Studies indicate that when a person is between the age of five and seven, he experiences these life positions emotionally. As the adult ego progresses, the life position of "I am OK, You are OK" may be chosen through a conscious process.
Validating the Life Position Scale
The life position scale is primarily derived from Bowlby's life attachment theory which posits that a child's early attachment experiences with their caregivers significantly influence the outcome of relationships in the latter stages of life. In essence, these early attachment interactions provide a reliable and essential model of emotions and cognitive processes that are pertinent to a child's development of interpersonal trust and the sense of self-worth. These thoughts and feelings assume the form of mental connotations which are then internalized as either model of self or others. Moreover, these models may be negative or positive depending on a child's previous interactions with a caregiver. This implies that if for instance, if an attachment figure treats a child in the right manner through reliable nurturance, support, and respect, then the child will adopt a positive attitude towards the models of self and other. Contrarily, if a caregiver disregards the needs of a child including inconsistently offering care and being abusive, then the child will ultimately develop negative attitudes towards himself and others.
The attachment theory may be classified into four main categories namely securely attach, preoccupied, dismissing and fearful style of attachment. These attachment types have been empirically observed in adults and adolescents through manifestations in marital and romantic relationships. Equally important is the fact that children's attachment classifications may be predicated as result of their parent's description of their relations with their parents. Hence, these arguments provide a firm basis for supporting the process of scrutinizing the literature on TA. This four-category model bears a correspondence to Berne's life positions. For instance, the secure attachment style defines adults as having a high opinion about themselves, and that others will be more responsive and approve of their character. This description is consistent with the "I am OK, You are OK" life position. The preoccupied attachment style describes individuals as viewing themselves negatively while they view other individuals positively. This observation is consistent with the life position "I am not OK, You are OK" which is characteristic of individuals with depressive tendencies. Accordingly, these tenets have culminated in the development of Life Position Scale as a psychological instrument. This may be described as comprising of a 20-item questionnaire that adopts a 5-point Likert type measure based on the TA structure. This implies that the concepts of TA define life positions of an individual. The total score that is gained from the scale is made up of for different dimensions which indicate the life position assumed by an individual.
The Life Position Scale has been translated into Turkish by researchers in various cohort studies and then later translated back into English. The pioneer of the scale Boholst, Boholst & Mende et al. (2005) evaluated the compatibility of the culturally-adapted scale through the determination of the equivalence of the scale. Indeed, the items of distinctiveness of Life Positions Scale have been tested and retested to assessing the reliability of the scale. The correlation coefficient between the original and the adapted score of the scale was found to be .79 which indicates that the items that were translated into Turkish are similar to the English originals. The test-retest reliability coefficient of the Turkish form scale is .81 which confirms that the Turkish structure corresponds to the original. Further, the study Boholst, Boholst & Mende (2005) illustrates the relationship between attachment and life positions from a theoretical perspective. The underlying hypothesis was that life positions and the related attachment prototypes are similar to each other as supported by the results from canonical correlation analysis where the two components share a similar statistically reliable proportion of the total variation.
Boholst, F. A. (2002). A life position scale. Transactional Analysis Journal, 32(1), 28-32.
Boholst, F. A., Boholst, G. B., & Mende, M. M. B. (2005). Life positions and attachment styles: A canonical correlation analysis. Transactional Analysis Journal, 35(1), 62-67.
Isgor, I. Y., Kaygusuz, C., & Ozpolat, A. R. (2012). Life positions scale language equivalence, reliability and validity analysis. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 47, 284-291.
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