Examining the Relations Among the DSM–5 Alternative Model of Personality, the Five-Factor Model, and Externalizing and Internalizing Behavior

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Given long-standing criticisms of the DSM’s reliance on categorical models of psychopathology, including the poor reliability and validity of personality-disorder diagnoses, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) published an alternative model (AM) of personality disorders in Section III of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5; APA, 2013), which, in part, comprises 5 pathological trait domains based on the 5-factor model (FFM). However, the empirical profiles and discriminant validity of the AM traits remain in question. We recruited a sample of undergraduates (N = 340) for the current study to compare the relations found between a measure of the DSM–5 AM traits (i.e., the Personality Inventory for DSM–5; PID-5; Krueger, Derringer, Markon, Watson, & Skodol, 2012) and a measure of the FFM (i.e., the International Personality Item Pool; IPIP; Goldberg, 1999) in relation to externalizing and internalizing symptoms. In general, the domains from the 2 measures were significantly related and demonstrated similar patterns of relations with these criteria, such that Antagonism/low Agreeableness and Disinhibition/low Conscientiousness were related to externalizing behaviors, whereas Negative Affectivity/Neuroticism was most significantly related to internalizing symptoms. However, the PID-5 demonstrated large interrelations among its domains and poorer discriminant validity than the IPIP. These results provide additional support that the conception of the trait model included in the DSM–5 AM is an extension of the FFM, but highlight some of the issues that arise due to the PID-5’s more limited discriminant validity.

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