Interviews and inventories for the measurement of personality disorders

Thomas A. Widiger, Allen Frances

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


The clinical diagnosis of personality disorders has not demonstrated the level of interrater reliability obtained by the Axis I conditions, due in part to the absence of adequate self-report inventories and semistructured interviews. This paper reviews nine semistructured interviews and eight self-report inventories that improve the assessment of personality disorders. Choices for inclusion in this review were based on current clinical interest, empirical support, and the illustration of methodological issues. The reviews of the interviews are followed by a discussion of issues particularly relevant to this method of measurement, including the reliance on patients versus clinicians for the attribution of personality traits and the use of supplementary, non-interview data. The reviews of the self-report inventories are followed by a discussion of bandwidth versus fidelity, item content, and item number. The paper concludes with a discussion of issues shared by both methods (e.g., structure versus clinical judgment) and a review of the relative advantages and disadvantages of the various methods of measurement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-75
Number of pages27
JournalClinical Psychology Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1987

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2014 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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