DSM-IV personality disorders and the five-factor model of personality: A multi-method examination of domain- And facet-level predictions

R. Michael Bagby, Paul Costa, Thomas A. Widiger, Andrew G. Ryder, Margarita Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The personality disorder classification system (Axis II) in the various versions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuals of Mental Disorders (DSM) has been the target of repeated criticism, with conceptual analysis and empirical evidence documenting its flaws. In response, many have proposed alternative approaches for the assessment of personality psychopathology, including the application of the Five-Factor Model of personality (FFM). Many remain sceptical, however, as to whether domain and facet traits from a model of general personality functioning can be successfully applied to clinical patients with personality disorders (PDs). In this study, with a sample of psychiatric patients (n = 115), personality disorder symptoms corresponding to each of the 10 PDs were successfully predicted by the facet and domain traits of the FFM, as measured by a semi-structured interview, the Structured Interview for the Five Factor Model (SIFFM; Trull & Widiger, 1997) and a self-report questionnaire, the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO PI-R; Costa and McCrae, 1992). These results provide support for the perspective that personality psychopathology can be captured by general personality dimensions. The FFM has the potential to provide a valid and scientifically sound framework from which to assess personality psychopathology, in a way that covers most of the domains conceptualized in DSM while transcending the limitations of the current categorical approach to these disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-324
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Journal of Personality
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Social Psychology

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