Self-defeating personality disorder and DSM-III-R: Development of the diagnostic criteria

F. Kass, R. L. Spitzer, J. B.W. Williams, T. Widiger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


One of the major controversies during the development of DSM-III-R was the possible inclusion of self-defeating personality disorder. The authors review the clinical literature that serves as the conceptual basis for this diagnosis. The development of the diagnostic criteria is described, including the rationale for specific criteria and the objections raised by opponents of the category. The authors describe how some of these objections led to changes in the diagnostic criteria in an attempt to distinguish self-defeating personality disorder from normal reactions to victimization and abuse.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number8 (1022-1026
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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