Clinicians' personality descriptions of prototypic personality disorders

Douglas B. Samuel, Thomas A. Widiger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

167 Scopus citations


Many studies have indicated close convergence of the DSM-IV personality disorders and the five-factor model (FFM) of personality functioning. However, questions have been raised concerning the ability of clinicians to describe personality disorders in terms of the FFM. This study developed a FFM description by practicing clinicians of each DSM-IV personality disorder. Clinicians rated a prototypic case of each DSM-IV personality disorder in terms of the FFM. These ratings, which achieved excellent reliability, were then averaged to produce a consensus FFM profile for each personality disorder. The consensus ratings showed good agreement with previous research that examined both researchers' and clinicians' application of the FFM to prototypic cases of personality disorders. These results suggest that clinicians can conceptualize and apply the FFM to personality disorders in a consistent way. The results further suggest that the FFM may provide a richer and more comprehensive description of personality difficulties than the current DSM-IV personality disorder categories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-308
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Personality Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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