Section 3 of the DSM-5 will include a pathological personality trait system rooted in the quantitative epistemology of personality and clinical psychology. This system has the potential to enhance the clinical utility of the diagnostic nosology by providing a means for the dimensional assessment of individuals with psychopathology. However, there is limited research on the associations of DSM-5 traits with common mental disorders and related clinical phenomena as measured by currently popular assessment instruments. The purpose of this article was to evaluate the convergence of the DSM-5 trait system with a well-validated broadband clinical instrument, the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI). Bivariate correlations were examined and factor analytic methods were used to examine the degree to which the DSM-5 traits and PAI capture common variance in personality and mental health. In a student sample (N = 1,001), we found broad convergence between the DSM-5 traits and PAI, which could be organized effectively using five factors. The implications of these findings for using traits to address issues related to diagnostic co-occurrence and heterogeneity in routine clinical assessment are discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Aidan G. C. Wright received support from the National Institute of Mental Health (F32MH097325) during the writing of this article.
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