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A unifying perspective on personality pathology across the life span: Developmental considerations for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 July 2009

Jennifer L. Tackett*
Affiliation:
University of Toronto
Steve Balsis
Affiliation:
Texas A&M University
Thomas F. Oltmanns
Affiliation:
Washington University in St. Louis
Robert F. Krueger
Affiliation:
Washington University in St. Louis
*
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Jennifer L. Tackett, Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3G3, Canada; E-mail: tackett@psych.utoronto.ca.

Abstract

Proposed changes in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) include replacing current personality disorder (PD) categories on Axis II with a taxonomy of dimensional maladaptive personality traits. Most of the work on dimensional models of personality pathology, and on personality disorders per se, has been conducted on young and middle-aged adult populations. Numerous questions remain regarding the applicability and limitations of applying various PD models to early and later life. In the present paper, we provide an overview of such dimensional models and review current proposals for conceptualizing PDs in DSM-V. Next, we extensively review existing evidence on the development, measurement, and manifestation of personality pathology in early and later life focusing on those issues deemed most relevant for informing DSM-V. Finally, we present overall conclusions regarding the need to incorporate developmental issues in conceptualizing PDs in DSM-V and highlight the advantages of a dimensional model in unifying PD perspectives across the life span.

Type
Regular Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009

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