The Categorical Representation of Personality Disorder: A Cluster Analysis of DSM-III-R Personality Features
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The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-(3rd edition)-Revised (DSM-III-R) classification of personality disorders reflects a number of assumptions about personality taxonomy. This study attempted to use the taxonomic assumptions manifested in DSM-III-R to construct an empirically based classification of personality disorders, aimed at determining the correspondence of the DSM-III-R to a classification based solely upon the covariance structure of various personality features. A cluster analysis was performed on the basis of DSM-III-R defined personality disorder diagnostic criteria, using data from a national sample of 291 patients with personality disorders of various kinds. The resulting classification demonstrated a significant association with DSM-III-R, although there were differences in the way relations among certain disorders were modeled. Substantive findings included empirical support for the concept of psychopathic personality, preliminary findings in support of the concept of sadistic (or aggressive) personality, and a reconceptualization of the distinction between schizoid and schizotypal personalities.
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