Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Davis

UC Davis Previously Published Works bannerUC Davis

Investigating the Transdiagnostic Value of Subjective Emptiness.


It is common for people with mental health problems to report feelings of emptiness. However, the association of subjective emptiness with specific disorders and its unique role within dimensional taxonomies of personality pathology is not well understood. The present study assesses the transdiagnostic value of subjective emptiness using a recently developed self-report measure in a mixed sample of 157 participants. The authors investigated the associations of emptiness with clinically relevant variables, including borderline personality disorder symptoms, depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts. Subjective emptiness showed strong positive relationships with all criteria. Regression models controlling for impairments of personality functioning, maladaptive personality traits, and current symptom distress supported the incremental validity of emptiness for specific disorder constructs and suicidality. These findings indicate that emptiness represents a facet of psychopathology that can be particularly useful for the classification of mental disorders, and in particular internalizing disorders involving self-dysfunction and detachment.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View