The transition from the Diagnostic and Statistical Model of Mental Disorders (4th ed., text revision [DSM-IV-TR]; American Psychiatric Association, 2000) to the fifth edition (DSM-5) represents an unprecedented opportunity to integrate dimensional personality trait models into the official nosology. Not surprisingly, a variety of issues have arisen in contemplating this challenging integration. In this article, we address how a dimensional personality trait model could be a helpful component of DSM-5, from the perspective of our roles as work group members and advisors involved in the creation of a trait model and corresponding assessment instrument. We focus in particular on two potential roles for a trait model in DSM-5 that are under official consideration. First, a dimensional personality trait model might be helpful in delineating the content of personality disorders. Second, a trait model might assist in organizing the metastructure of DSM-5 (i.e., the arrangement of chapters and other broader classificatory rubrics).
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With this concern about range and breadth of psychopathological content in mind, Work Group members and consultants have been developing a self-report assessment tool targeting specific nonadaptive personality variants. This assessment instrument will be entirely in the public domain; as of this writing it can be obtained by writing to R. F. Krueger, and our aim is to make it widely available by posting it on the Web (e.g., it could be posted as a supplement on a journal Web site or on DSM5.org). Along these lines, an additional concern that this work is intended to address is the possible verbatim overlap between a trait model for DSM–5 and published assessment instruments sold for profit. A potential conflict of interest exists if the DSM–5 articulates a trait model that is isomorphic with a model assessed by a specific inventory sold by a specific test publisher. One intent of creating a public domain self-report personality inventory as part of the DSM–5 process is to address this conflict of interest issue. This work is an official DSM–5 activity and is supported under the DSM–5 umbrella of activities.