Comparing personality disorder models: Cross-method assessment of the FFM and DSM-IV-TR

Douglas B. Samuel, Thomas W. Widiger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association, 2000) defines personality disorders as categorical entities that are distinct from each other and from normal personality traits. However, many scientists now believe that personality disorders are best conceptualized using a dimensional model of traits that span normal and abnormal personality, such as the Five-Factor Model (FFM). However, if the FFM or any dimensional model is to be considered as a credible alternative to the current model, it must first demonstrate an increment in the validity of the assessment offered within a clinical setting. Thus, the current study extended previous research by comparing the convergent and discriminant validity of the current DSM-IV-TR model to the FFM across four assessment methodologies. Eighty-eight individuals receiving ongoing psychotherapy were assessed for the FFM and the DSM-IV-TR personality disorders using self-report, informant report, structured interview, and therapist ratings. The results indicated that the FFM had an appreciable advantage over the DSM-IV-TR in terms of discriminant validity and, at the domain level, convergent validity. Implications of the findings and directions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721-745
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Personality Disorders
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparing personality disorder models: Cross-method assessment of the FFM and DSM-IV-TR'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this