Year of Publication

2008

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Dissertation

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Thomas A. Widiger

Abstract

The current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association, 2000) defines personality disorders as categorical entities that are distinct from themselves and from normal personality traits. However, many scientists now believe that personality disorders can best be conceptualized using a dimensional model of traits that span normal and abnormal personality, such as the Five-Factor Model (FFM). Many research studies have indicated that the current personality disorder system can be adequately conceptualized using the FFM. However, if the FFM or any dimensional model is to be considered as a credible alternative to the current model, it must first demonstrate an increment in the validity of the assessment offered within a clinical setting. Thus, the current study extended previous research by comparing the convergent and discriminant validity of the current DSM-IV-TR model to the FFM across four assessment methodologies. Eighty-eight individuals that were currently receiving ongoing psychotherapy were assessed for the FFM and the DSM-IV-TR personality disorders using self-report, informant report, structured interview, and therapist ratings. The results indicated that the FFM had an appreciable advantage over the DSM-IV-TR in terms of discriminant validity and, at the domain level, convergent validity. Implications of the findings for future research are discussed.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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