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, 121 (4), 944-950

Can DSM-IV Borderline Personality Disorder Be Diagnosed via Dimensional Personality Traits? Implications for the DSM-5 Personality Disorder Proposal

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Can DSM-IV Borderline Personality Disorder Be Diagnosed via Dimensional Personality Traits? Implications for the DSM-5 Personality Disorder Proposal

Joshua D Miller et al. J Abnorm Psychol.

Abstract

The proposal for the diagnosis of personality disorders (PDs) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5;American Psychiatric Association, in preparation) involves, in part, the use of elevated scores on dimensional personality traits. For instance, the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD) in the DSM-5 will require evidence of self- and interpersonal impairment as well as elevated scores on traits of emotional lability, anxiousness, separation insecurity, depressivity, impulsivity, risk taking, and hostility. Using a sample of individuals from the community (N = 134), half of whom were receiving psychiatric treatment, we tested whether the summation of relevant personality trait scores, using data derived from a measure of the Five-Factor Model of personality (FFM), would result in a construct that corresponds to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed. (DSM-IV, American Psychiatric Association, 2000) BPD construct as scored by expert consensus ratings. The DSM-IV and FFM BPD scores were significantly correlated (r = .60) and generated highly similar patterns of relations (ricc = .84) with key constructs from BPD's nomological network. These data should serve to allay concerns that the DSM-5's new diagnostic approach will be detrimental to the identification of BPD.

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