Over the past two decades, evidence has suggested that personality disorders (PDs) can be conceptualized as extreme, maladaptive variants of general personality dimensions, rather than discrete categorical entities. Recognizing this literature, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) alternative PD model in Section III defines PDs partially through 25 maladaptive traits that fall within 5 domains. Empirical evidence based on the self-report measure of these traits, the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5), suggests that these five higher-order domains share a structure and correlate in meaningful ways with the five-factor model (FFM) of general personality. In the current study, item response theory was used to compare the DSM-5 alternative PD model traits to those from a normative FFM inventory (the International Personality Item Pool-NEO [IPIP-NEO]) in terms of their measurement precision along the latent dimensions. Within a combined sample of 3,517 participants, results strongly supported the conclusion that the DSM-5 alternative PD model traits and IPIP-NEO traits are complimentary measures of 4 of the 5 FFM domains (with perhaps the exception of openness to experience vs. psychoticism). Importantly, the two measures yield largely overlapping information curves on these four domains. Differences that did emerge suggested that the PID-5 scales generally have higher thresholds and provide more information at the upper levels, whereas the IPIP-NEO generally had an advantage at the lower levels. These results support the general conceptualization that 4 domains of the DSM-5 alternative PD model traits are maladaptive, extreme versions of the FFM.
- Alternative personality disorder model
- Personality disorder
- Section III