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Personality disorders as maladaptive, extreme variants of normal personality: borderline personality disorder and neuroticism in a substance using sample



Personality disorders as maladaptive, extreme variants of normal personality: borderline personality disorder and neuroticism in a substance using sample



Journal of Personality Disorders 27(5): 625-635



Although the current diagnostic manual conceptualizes personality disorders (PDs) as categorical entities, an alternative perspective is that PDs represent maladaptive extreme versions of the same traits that describe normal personality. Existing evidence indicates that normal personality traits, such as those assessed by the five-factor model (FFM), share a common structure and obtain reasonably predictable correlations with the PDs. However, very little research has investigated whether PDs are more extreme than normal personality traits. Utilizing item-response theory analyses, the authors of the current study extend previous research to demonstrate that the diagnostic criterion for borderline personality disorder and FFM neuroticism could be fit along a single latent dimension. Furthermore, the authors' findings indicate that the borderline criteria assessed the shared latent trait at a level that was more extreme (d = 1.11) than FFM neuroticism. This finding provides further evidence for dimensional understanding of personality pathology and suggests that a trait model in DSM-5 should span normal and abnormal personality functioning, but focus on the extremes of these common traits.

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Accession: 054947482

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 24044664

DOI: 10.1521/pedi.2013.27.5.625


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