Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Thomas A. Widiger


The National Institute of Mental Health’s (NIMH) Research Domain Criteria (RDoC; Insel et al., 2010; Sanislow et al., 2010) were established in an effort to explore underlying dimensions that cut across many existing disorders as well as to provide an alternative to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5; APA, 2013). The present dissertation aimed to study one major component of the RDoC model, negative valence, as compared to other models hypothesized to be closely related, as well as its relationship to a key component of psychopathology, affective instability. Participants were adult community residents (N=90) currently in mental health treatment. Participants received self-report measures of RDoC negative valence, five-factor model (FFM) neuroticism, and DSM-5 Section 3 negative affectivity, along with measures of affective instability, borderline personality disorder, and social-occupational impairment. Through this investigation, a better understanding and potential expansion of this new model of diagnosis for clinicians and researchers is provided. In particular, it is suggested that RDoC negative valence is commensurate with FFM neuroticism and DSM-5 negative affectivity, and it would be beneficial if it was expanded to include affective instability.