Using Repeated Daily Assessments to Uncover Oscillating Patterns and Temporally-Dynamic Triggers in Structures of Psychopathology: Applications to the DSM–5 Alternative Model of Personality Disorders

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Abstract

Articulating an accurate and clinically useful structure of psychopathology is a crucial and difficult task. Dimensions identified through cross-sectional factor analyses are increasingly being linked with temporally dynamic processes of social cognition, emotion regulation, symptom expression, and functional impairment to demonstrate how between-person structures and within-person dynamics can be integrated. The present research considers how structure and processes are integrated in the DSM–5, specifically in the alternative model for personality disorders (AMPD). Participants (n = 248) completed a 14-day electronic diary, and results indicated that personality impairments oscillated across days and were triggered by daily negative emotions and cognitive distortions. Importantly, some aspects of the AMPD model that are identified as potentially redundant in cross-sectional research are shown here to increment each other in the prediction of dynamic oscillations and triggers. Thus, longitudinal designs and temporally dynamic analyses may provide new and novel evidence to fully inform structures of psychopathology. Such research is a needed step in the integration of the structure and process in classification and diagnosis of psychopathology.

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