Substantive Findings

Compared to many axis I disorders, such as schizophrenia, there are less extensive data available on the prevalence of axis II disorders. To a great extent, this is due to a much shorter history of empirical work on most of the constructs embodied in the personality disorders. In the case of schizophrenia, the definition formulated by Kraepelin (1919/1971) shortly after the turn of the century is relatively similar to the criteria in DSM-III, DSM-III-R, and DSM-IV. In general, the personality disorders, with the possible exception of antisocial personality disorder (and its related progenitors, moral insanity, psychopathy, sociopathy, etc.), have not been the object of empirical, let alone epidemiological, research for very long. In this section a brief description of findings predating the publication of DSM-III will be provided. The largest part of this section will review findings bearing on the "true prevalence'' of personality disorders, that is, rates of the disorders in representative community and nonclinical samples. Available data will be presented for the prevalence of having any personality disorder and for individual disorders.

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