Personality disorders in sociocultural perspective

J Pers Disord. 1998 Winter;12(4):289-301. doi: 10.1521/pedi.1998.12.4.289.


Personality disorders are shaped by a social and cultural context. This principle is supported by evidence that Axis II diagnoses have a different prevalence in different societies, and that some disorders demonstrate cohort effects. Transitions from traditional to modern social structures, accompanied by social disintegration and rapid social change, could account for these phenomena. The main mechanisms of action would involve interference with family functioning and with buffering from the social community.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Cultural Characteristics*
  • Effect Modifier, Epidemiologic
  • Family / ethnology*
  • Humans
  • Personality Disorders* / classification
  • Personality Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Personality Disorders* / ethnology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Role
  • Self Concept
  • Social Change*
  • Social Identification
  • Social Problems