Construct Validity of the Psychodiagnostic Chart: A Transdiagnostic Measure of Personality Organization, Personality Syndromes, Mental Functioning, and Symptomatology

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Abstract

The Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM; Alliance of Psychoanalytic Organizations [APO], 2006) was developed to add a contrasting, person-centered perspective to the conceptualization and diagnosis of psychological dysfunction in traditional diagnostic systems (i.e., the International Classification of Diseases, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). In addition to considering symptom patterns (Axis S), the PDM—and its recently updated version, PDM-2 (Lingiardi & McWilliams, 2017)—enables clinicians to describe overall level of personality organization, specific personality patterns and syndromes (Axis P), and the patient’s mental functioning in a broad array of domains, including strengths and vulnerabilities (Axis M). This article discusses scale development, structure, format, scoring, and interpretation of the Psychodiagnostic Chart (PDC; Gordon & Bornstein, 2012, 2015), an instrument for coding PDM/PDM-2 data. We evaluate the psychometric soundness of the PDC with respect to internal consistency, interrater and retest reliability, and relations to external criteria. Following a review of evidence bearing on the construct validity of the PDC and clinical utility of constructs assessed by the measure, we discuss the instrument’s strengths and limitations, and offer suggestions for continued work in this area.

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