Document Type


Publication Date

July 2007

Journal or Book Title

Psychological Medicine






BACKGROUND: The categorical classification system for personality disorder (PD) has been frequently criticized and several alternative dimensional models have been proposed.

METHOD: Antecedent, concurrent and predictive markers of construct validity were examined for three models of PDs: the Five-Factor Model (FFM), the Schedule for Nonadaptive and Adaptive Personality (SNAP) model and the DSM-IV in the Collaborative Study of Personality Disorders (CLPS) sample.

RESULTS: All models showed substantial validity across a variety of marker variables over time. Dimensional models (including dimensionalized DSM-IV) consistently outperformed the conventional categorical diagnosis in predicting external variables, such as subsequent suicidal gestures and hospitalizations. FFM facets failed to improve upon the validity of higher-order factors upon cross-validation. Data demonstrated the importance of both stable trait and dynamic psychopathological influences in predicting external criteria over time.

CONCLUSIONS: The results support a dimensional representation of PDs that assesses both stable traits and dynamic processes.