Cross-Cultural Applicability of Oral–Dependent Language (ODL)

Publication Name

Professional Psychology: Research and Practice


Oral–Dependent Language (ODL) is currently included in the Rorschach Performance Assessment System (R-PAS) as an empirically supported variable that measures both implicit and explicit psychological processes related to dependence and oral motives. To date, almost all studies on ODL have been conducted in the U.S. so that little is known about how it works in other cultural contexts. Additionally, no study has investigated the Oral and Dependent subcomponents of this variable. This paper addresses ODL validity in Italy and its clinical utility by reporting on three studies, each addressing a specific research question. Study 1 examined the association of gender, age, and cultural background to ODL scores. Study 2 addressed predictive validity by examining the relationship of ODL and its subcomponents’ scores to dependent behaviors expressed by nonclinical participants in a laboratory task. Study 3 tested construct validity of ODL and its subcomponents scores via a clinical/nonclinical comparison paradigm. A total of 212 Italian participants (68 obese patients and nonobese volunteers) were enrolled in these studies. Data were analyzed through Bayesian and parametric techniques. Study 1 confirmed that Italian nonclinical individuals produced equivalent ODL scores to U.S. normative data; Study 2 found no association between ODL and occurrence of a dependency-related behavior in a laboratory setting; Study 3 showed that obese patients produced higher ODL scores than controls.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access





First Page


Last Page




Link to publisher version (DOI)