Examination of the Section III DSM-5 diagnostic system for personality disorders in an outpatient clinical sample. Journal Articles uri icon

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013), includes a novel approach to the diagnosis of personality disorders (PDs) in Section III, to stimulate further research with the possibility that this proposal will be included more formally in future DSM iterations. This study provides the 1st test of this proposal in a clinical sample by simultaneously examining its 2 primary components: a system for rating personality impairment and a newly developed dimensional model of pathological personality traits. Participants were community adults currently receiving outpatient mental health treatment who completed a semistructured interview for DSM-IV PDs and were then rated in terms of personality impairment and pathological traits. Data on the pathological traits were also collected through self-reports using the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5). Both sets of trait scores were compared with self-report measures of general personality traits, internalizing symptoms, and externalizing behaviors. Interrater reliabilities for the clinicians' ratings of impairment and the pathological traits were fair. The impairment ratings manifested substantial correlations with symptoms of depression and anxiety, DSM-5 PDs, and DSM-5 pathological traits. The clinician and self-reported personality trait scores demonstrated good convergence with one another, both accounted for substantial variance in DSM-IV PD constructs, and both manifested expected relations with the external criteria. The traits but not the impairment ratings demonstrated incremental validity in the prediction of the DSM-IV PDs. Overall, these results support the general validity of several of the components of this new PD diagnostic system and point to areas that may require further modification.


  • Few, Lauren R
  • Miller, Joshua D
  • Rothbaum, Alex O
  • Meller, Suzanne
  • Maples, Jessica
  • Terry, Douglas P
  • Collins, Brittany
  • MacKillop, James

publication date

  • November 2013