The longitudinal relationship of personality traits and disorders. Academic Article uri icon


  • Personality disorders are presumed to be stable because of underlying stable and maladaptive personality traits, but while previous research has demonstrated a link between personality traits and personality disorders cross-sectionally, personality disorders and personality traits have not been linked longitudinally. This study explores the extent to which relevant personality traits are stable in individuals diagnosed with 4 personality disorders (schizotypal, borderline, avoidant, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorders) and examines the assumption that these personality disorders are stable by virtue of stable personality traits. This assumption was tested via the estimation of a series of latent longitudinal models that evaluated whether changes in relevant personality traits lead to subsequent changes in personality disorders. In addition to offering large consistency estimates for personality traits and personality disorders, the results demonstrate significant cross-lagged relationships between trait change and later disorder change for 3 of the 4 personality disorders studied.

published proceedings

  • J Abnorm Psychol

author list (cited authors)

  • Warner, M. B., Morey, L. C., Finch, J. F., Gunderson, J. G., Skodol, A. E., Sanislow, C. A., ... Grilo, C. M.

citation count

  • 116

complete list of authors

  • Warner, Megan B||Morey, Leslie C||Finch, John F||Gunderson, John G||Skodol, Andrew E||Sanislow, Charles A||Shea, M Tracie||McGlashan, Thomas H||Grilo, Carlos M

publication date

  • May 2004