How Are Personality Disorders And Personality Related

Thanks to the emergence of psychometrically reliable and valid measures of personality disorder symptoms and of personality traits, investigators have begun to map points of convergence between the two. As mentioned previously, the factor structure of personality disorder symptoms (as assessed by Livesley et al.'s DAPP-BQ or Clark et al.'s SNAP) shows broad similarity with the factor structure of normal personality traits (as assessed by Costa and McCrae's NEO-PI-R). Specifically, factor analyses of the DAPP-BQ yield common factors approximating neuroticism, extraversion (negative), agreeableness (negative), and conscientiousness. Thus, the only NEO-PI-R factor not represented in measures of personality disorders appears to be openness to experience (Clark et al., 1994; Schroeder et al., 1994). Together, this evidence suggests that personality disorders can be characterized in terms of the same types of dimensions that investigators use to characterize normal personality, even if these measures tap different ends of a severity spectrum running from health to psychopathology.

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