Global personality dysfunction and the relationship of pathological and normal trait domains in the DSM-5 alternative model for personality disorders. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: The DSM-5 Alternative Model of Personality Disorders distinguishes core personality dysfunction common to all personality pathology from maladaptive traits that delineate specific variants of disorder. Previous research shows the convergence between maladaptive and normal range trait domains as well as substantial correlations between maladaptive traits and core dysfunctions, leading some to conclude that personality traits and dysfunction are redundant. This study sought to examine the potential utility of the concept of core dysfunctions as a means of clarifying the nature of the relationship between maladaptive and normal-range traits. METHOD: Three nonclinical samples (n=178, 307, and 1,008) were evaluated for personality dysfunction, maladaptive traits, and normal-range traits using different measures. RESULTS: Results indicated that: (1) normal trait domains and core dysfunction contribute independently to understanding maladaptive traits; (2) the correlation of a normal trait domain with its putative maladaptive equivalent is consistently accounted for in part by core dysfunction; and (3) the multitrait multimethod matrices of normal and maladaptive personality trait domains demonstrate appreciable discriminant validity problems that are clarified by a consideration of core dysfunction. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that maladaptive traits reflect the distinguishable contributions of core personality dysfunction (problems) and normal-range personality traits (person).

published proceedings

  • J Pers

altmetric score

  • 9.43

author list (cited authors)

  • Morey, L. C., Good, E. W., & Hopwood, C. J.

citation count

  • 25

publication date

  • January 2022