The Morbidity of DSM-III-R Dependent Personality Disorder

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Dependent personality has long been discussed by clinicians, and by empirical researchers more recently. Little empirical evidence so far has been presented as to the type and degree of disability with which it is associated. This report provides some empirical data in that regard. To examine this question, those with and without DSM-III-R dependent personality were compared in male veterans drawn from an outpatient psychiatry clinic (dependent and nondependent groups). Standardized interview assessments were used to determine axes I and II disorders and family history. The dependent personality disorder group had significantly lower socioeconomic status and poorer functioning in the family/home sphere. They had significantly more social phobia, borderline traits, and histrionic traits. In relatives, there was significantly more generalized anxiety disorder, simple phobia, drug abuse, and dramatic personality disorder cluster. There are clearly documentable vulnerabilities and morbidities associated with dependent personality disorder.

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