The DSM-III-R personality disorders: An overview

T. A. Widiger, A. Frances, R. L. Spitzer, J. B.W. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


The revision of DSM-III (DSM-III-R) includes substantial changes in the axis II personality disorders. The authors present and critically review these revisions and suggest directions for further research. The issues discussed include the multiaxial system, the use of a categorical rather than a dimensional format, the change from monothetic to polythetic criteria sets, the reduction in overlap among criteria sets, the decrease in the amount of unnecessary inferential clinical judgment required to make diagnoses, and the addition of two new personality disorders in an appendix. The criteria sets for many of the DSM-III personality disorders were also substantially revised in DSM-III-R. Changes in each of these are discussed in turn.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)786-795
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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