Improving Characterization of Psychopathy Within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), Alternative Model for Personality Disorders: Creation and Validation of Personality Inventory for DSM-5 Triarchic Scales

Laura E. Drislane, Martin Sellbom, Sarah J. Brislin, Casey M. Strickland, Elliott Christian, Dustin B. Wygant, Robert F. Krueger, Christopher J. Patrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


The latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) bridges a significant gap in psychiatric nosology by providing trait-based characterizations of psychopathy along with antisocial personality disorder within the Section III alternative model for personality disorers (AMPD). However, the representation of psychopathy in the AMPD has met with some criticisms (Crego & Widiger, 2014; Few, Lynam, Maples, MacKillop, & Miller, 2015). The current study was undertaken to establish an improved means for characterizing psychopathy in DSM-5 Section III terms, by creating scale measures of triarchic psychopathy dimensions using items from the best-established assessment instrument for the AMPD, the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5). Using data from a sample of community adults (N ± 210), we employed a construct rating and psychometric refinement approach to develop item-based PID-5 Triarchic scales for measuring psychopathy dimensions of boldness, meanness, and disinhibition. The validity of the PID-5 Triarchic scales was then evaluated in relation to criteria including other scale measures of the triarchic constructs and psychopathy, self-reported antisocial behavior and substance use, empathy, internalizing and other clinical problems, and personality within the development sample and a separate independent sample of adults (N ± 240) recruited to have elevated psychopathic traits. Results of this work provide a foundation for improved characterization of psychopathy in terms of the AMPD trait system and provide a mechanism for future research oriented toward clarifying the developmental interface between childhood conduct disorder and psychopathy, as well as identifying neurobiological correlates of dimensions of psychopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPersonality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019



  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Fifth Edition
  • Psychometrics
  • Psychopathy
  • Scale development
  • Triarchic model

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

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