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The Latent Structure of Personality Functioning: Investigating Criterion A From the Alternative Model for Personality Disorders in DSM-5

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Published copy (DOI)

Author(s)

  • Johannes Zimmermann
  • Jan R Böhnke
  • Rhea Eschstruth
  • Alessa Mathews
  • Kristin Wenzel
  • Daniel Leising

Department/unit(s)

Publication details

JournalJournal of Abnormal Psychology
DateE-pub ahead of print - 8 Jun 2015
DatePublished (current) - 8 Jun 2015
Early online date8/06/15
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The alternative model for the classification of personality disorders (PD) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM-5) Section III comprises 2 major components: impairments in personality functioning (Criterion A) and maladaptive personality traits (Criterion B). In this study, we investigated the latent structure of Criterion A (a) within subdomains, (b) across subdomains, and (c) in conjunction with the Criterion B trait facets. Data were gathered as part of an online study that collected other-ratings by 515 laypersons and 145 therapists. Laypersons were asked to assess 1 of their personal acquaintances, whereas therapists were asked to assess 1 of their patients, using 135 items that captured features of Criteria A and B. We were able to show that (a) the structure within the Criterion A subdomains can be appropriately modeled using generalized graded unfolding models, with results suggesting that the items are indeed related to common underlying constructs but often deviate from their theoretically expected severity level; (b) the structure across subdomains is broadly in line with a model comprising 2 strongly correlated factors of self- and interpersonal functioning, with some notable deviations from the theoretical model; and (c) the joint structure of the Criterion A subdomains and the Criterion B facets broadly resembles the expected model of 2 plus 5 factors, albeit the loading pattern suggests that the distinction between Criteria A and B is somewhat blurry. Our findings provide support for several major assumptions of the alternative DSM-5 model for PD but also highlight aspects of the model that need to be further refined. (PsycINFO Database Record

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