Introduction: Despite the general agreement that normal jealousy is heterogenous, little is known about this specific topic.
Methods: In the present study, we explored the possibility of distinguishing between four subtypes of “normal” jealousy (depressive, anxious, obsessive, and paranoid) amongst a cohort of 500 healthy university students by means of a specifically designed questionnaire, “Questionario della gelosia” (QUEGE). QUEGE is a self-report instrument of 30 items which explores the presence, frequency, and duration of feelings and behaviors related to jealousy. It was devised to investigate four hypothetical psychopathological profiles: depressive, paranoid, obsessive, and anxious.
Results: The factor analysis identified five rather than four clear-cut factors: self-esteem, paranoia, interpersonal sensitivity, fear of being abandoned, and obsessionality. Women showed statistically significant lower levels of self-esteem and higher levels of obsessionality than men. Younger age (<25 years) was associated with lower self-esteem and higher levels of paranoia and obsessionality, while being single was associated with lower self-esteem and higher levels of obsessionality.
Conclusion: The present study provides evidence of the reliability and validity of the QUEGE instrument, which seems to identify the presence of five psychopathological dimensions within the jealousy phenomenon in the general population.