Relating DSM-5 section III personality traits to section II personality disorder diagnoses. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: The DSM-5 Personality and Personality Disorders Work Group formulated a hybrid dimensional/categorical model that represented personality disorders as combinations of core impairments in personality functioning with specific configurations of problematic personality traits. Specific clusters of traits were selected to serve as indicators for six DSM categorical diagnoses to be retained in this system - antisocial, avoidant, borderline, narcissistic, obsessive-compulsive and schizotypal personality disorders. The goal of the current study was to describe the empirical relationships between the DSM-5 section III pathological traits and DSM-IV/DSM-5 section II personality disorder diagnoses. METHOD: Data were obtained from a sample of 337 clinicians, each of whom rated one of his or her patients on all aspects of the DSM-IV and DSM-5 proposed alternative model. Regression models were constructed to examine trait-disorder relationships, and the incremental validity of core personality dysfunctions (i.e. criterion A features for each disorder) was examined in combination with the specified trait clusters. RESULTS: Findings suggested that the trait assignments specified by the Work Group tended to be substantially associated with corresponding DSM-IV concepts, and the criterion A features provided additional diagnostic information in all but one instance. CONCLUSIONS: Although the DSM-5 section III alternative model provided a substantially different taxonomic structure for personality disorders, the associations between this new approach and the traditional personality disorder concepts in DSM-5 section II make it possible to render traditional personality disorder concepts using alternative model traits in combination with core impairments in personality functioning.

published proceedings

  • Psychol Med

altmetric score

  • 1.6

author list (cited authors)

  • Morey, L. C., Benson, K. T., & Skodol, A. E.

citation count

  • 77

complete list of authors

  • Morey, LC||Benson, KT||Skodol, AE

publication date

  • February 2016