The personality psychopathology-five (PSY-5): Recent constructive replication and assessment literature review

Allan R. Harkness, Jacob A. Finn, John L. McNulty, Susan M. Shields

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


The Personality Psychopathology-Five (PSY-5; Harkness & McNulty, 1994) is a model of individual differences relevant to adaptive functioning in both clinical and non-clinical populations. In this article, we review the development of the PSY-5 model (Harkness, 1992; Harkness & McNulty, 1994) and discuss the ways in which the PSY-5 model is related to and distinct from other 5-factor models. Using different methods and measures, the dimensions of the PSY-5 model have been constructively replicated (Lykken, 1968) by Tackett, Silberschmidt, Krueger, and Sponheim (2008) and by Watson, Clark, and Chmielewski (2008), and dimensions congruent with the PSY-5 have even been suggested for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; Krueger et al., 2011). PSY-5 Scales can be scored from the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2; Butcher et al., 2001), the MMPI-Adolescent version (MMPI-A; Butcher et al., 1992), and the Restructured Form of the MMPI-2 (MMPI-2-RF; Ben-Porath & Tellegen, 2008). Because the largest body of research exists for the MMPI-2-based scales, we focus our review of the literature on the MMPI-2-based PSY-5 scales (Harkness, McNulty, & Ben-Porath, 1995), but we briefly cover the small, but growing, body of MMPI-A and MMPI-2-RF PSY-5 scales research. We show that the PSY-5 research literature includes a wide variety of psychometric methodologies as well as diverse samples and clinical problems. An integrative summary reprises the theory behind each PSY-5 construct and links it to the reviewed literature. Advantages and limitations of MMPI-2-based PSY-5 scales are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)432-443
Number of pages12
JournalPsychological assessment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Adaptive functioning
  • Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders
  • DSM-5 PD trait proposal
  • Individual differences
  • Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory-2
  • MMPI-2
  • Personality models
  • Personality psychopathology-five
  • PSY-5
  • Psychopathology models


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