Applicability of personality disorder criteria to hospitalized adolescents: evaluation of internal consistency and criterion overlap. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: The authors examined the applicability of personality disorder criteria to adolescent inpatients by evaluating internal consistency and criterion overlap. METHOD: Thirty-eight adolescents and 28 adults were assessed with the Personality Disorder Examination. Within-category cohesiveness (internal consistency) of the criteria was evaluated by examining intercriterion correlations as well as coefficient alpha. In addition, between-category criterion overlap was evaluated by examining "intercategory" intercriterion correlations between all pairs of disorders. Separate analyses were conducted for adolescents and adults, and the groups were compared. RESULTS: Internal consistency appeared to be lower in adolescents, as measured by intercriterion correlation and coefficient alpha, with the largest differences being identified for most cluster B disorders. Intercategory analysis indicated that criterion overlap may be greater among adolescents. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, this psychometric analysis suggests that there may be limitations to the DSMs approach to categorizing personality disorders. For both adolescents and adults, modest degrees of within-category cohesiveness (internal consistency) and between-category criterion overlap were observed. Comparatively, personality disorder criteria in adolescents tended to have lower internal consistency and less discriminant validity. The data raise questions about the construct validity of these disorders--or the applicability of these criteria--within this age group.

published proceedings

  • J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry

author list (cited authors)

  • Becker, D. F., Grilo, C. M., Morey, L. C., Walker, M. L., Edell, W. S., & McGlashan, T. H

citation count

  • 66

complete list of authors

  • Becker, DF||Grilo, CM||Morey, LC||Walker, ML||Edell, WS||McGlashan, TH

publication date

  • February 1999