Factorial structure of traits delineating personality disorders in clinical and general population samples

J Abnorm Psychol. 1992 Aug;101(3):432-40. doi: 10.1037//0021-843x.101.3.432.


Categorical and dimensional models for classifying personality disorders were evaluated by comparing the structure of personality pathology in a clinical sample (n = 158) with the structure in a general population sample (n = 274). Subjects completed 100 personality scales. Separate factor analyses revealed similar structures in the 2 samples. An underlying structure in a combined sample showed limited agreement with the concepts of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (American Psychiatric Association, 1987). Fifteen factors were retained: Generalized Distress, Rejection, Restricted Expression, Compulsivity, Stimulus Seeking, Insecure Attachment, Diffidence, Intimacy Problems, Oppositionality, Interpersonal Disesteem, Conduct Problems, Cognitive Dysfunction, Affective Reactivity, Narcissism, and Social Apprehensiveness. The results are consistent with a dimensional representation of personality disorder.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality Disorders / classification
  • Personality Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Personality Disorders / psychology
  • Personality Tests / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results