Document Type

Contribution to Book

Publication Date

April 2012

Journal or Book Title

The Oxford Handbook for Personality Disorders

Editor

T. A. Widiger

Publisher

Oxford University Press

Place of Publication

New York

Abstract

In this chapter, the evolution of the avoidant personality disorder (AVPD) diagnosis, its current status, and future possibilities are reviewed. AVPD is a chronic and enduring condition involving a poor sense of self and anxiety in social situations, and it is marked by fears of rejection and a distant interpersonal stance. AVPD may be conceptualized at the severe end of a continuum of social anxiety. In the extreme, traits, mechanisms, and symptoms become integral to chronic dysfunction in personality and interpersonal style. While AVPD is a valid diagnostic construct, the optimal organization of AVPD criteria for the diagnosis, and the relationship of avoidant personality traits to anxiety, remain to be determined.