Connecting DSM-5 personality traits and pathological beliefs: Toward a unifying model

Christopher J. Hopwood, Nick Schade, Robert F. Krueger, Aidan G.C. Wright, Kristian E. Markon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Dissatisfaction with the DSM-IV model of personality disorders has led to the development of alternative conceptualizations, including pathological trait models and models linked to particular theoretical approaches, such as Beck and Freeman's (1990) cognitive framework. An important issue involves the potential to interweave such models into a single, parsimonious system that combines their distinct advantages. In this study, pathological trait and dysfunctional belief data from 616 individuals in a non-clinical sample were evaluated for commensurability using structural equation modeling. These models can be integrated via five higher-order factors, and that specific dimensions of dysfunctional beliefs can be differentiated based on features of the DSM-5 trait model. Overall, these results suggest that traits provide scaffolding for individual differences in pathological personality, within which dysfunctional beliefs offer specific vectors for clinical intervention in a cognitive framework. Implications of the empirical commensurability of trait and cognitive models are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-172
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • DSM-5
  • Dysfunctional beliefs
  • Personality disorders
  • Schema
  • Traits


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