A Five-Factor Model of Developmental Personality Pathology Precursors

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Abstract

There is growing consensus that the dimensional structure of early personality pathology can be organized within a similar framework as in adults (De Clercq, De Fruyt, Van Leeuwen, & Mervielde, 2006; Tromp & Koot, 2008). From this perspective, the Dimensional Personality Symptom Itempool (DIPSI) was recently expanded from a 4- to a 5-dimensional trait structure (Verbeke & De Clercq, 2014), including Disagreeableness, Emotional Instability, Introversion, Compulsivity, and Oddity. This developmental maladaptive trait structure is in need of further research, however, before it can be accepted as a valid framework for describing early manifestations of personality dysfunction. By use of exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM) analyses, the current study explored the fit of the 5-factor DIPSI framework across 4 different samples (N = 1456), and replicated 5 higher-order factors that demonstrated scalar invariance across age and metric invariance across informants and clinical status. These results underscore the robustness of 5 underlying dimensions of personality pathology at a young age and highlight adequate psychometric properties of the proposed DIPSI measure for describing childhood personality pathology precursors.

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