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  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: August 2009

18 - Social and cultural determinants of mental health

from Section 3 - Special Topics


Our understanding of personality disorders has come of age since the mid-1990s. At a time of frequent change, some of the issues discussed in this chapter will be likely to be incorporated into the core of learning about these conditions, whereas others may well be abandoned. There are five common ways of classifying personality disorder, namely, category, cluster, severity, impact on social functioning, and attribution. The Personality Assessment Schedule gives social function priority in creating a hierarchy in which the personality disorder creating the greater social dysfunction is given primacy over others in a subsequent description of personality disorder. Social function is affected by many other aspects of mental functioning apart from that of personality. Environmental and genetic factors interweave to influence personality development almost equally, and many genes interact to create different trait groupings. The main treatments for personality disorders are psychological, drug and alternative or complementary treatments.


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