Development and Initial Evaluation of a Self-Report Form of the DSM–5 Level of Personality Functioning Scale

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Abstract

The DSM–5 presents an Alternative Model for Personality Disorder (AMPD) recommending the assessment of impairments in core personality functions as well as clinically relevant personality traits. Although a self-report assessment instrument has been provided corresponding to the trait model proposed in the AMPD, no comparable instrument provides a direct assessment of the specific indicators of core personality functions described in that model. The goal of this paper is to provide preliminary reliability and validity data for a measure that directly corresponds to core personality pathology as operationalized in the AMPD. Self-report questions were generated to capture each diagnostic indicator provided in the Level of Personality Functioning Scale, a clinician rating guide provided in the AMPD that describes characteristic impairments in identity, self-direction, empathy, and intimacy at 5 different levels of personality functioning. These questions were administered to a community sample of 306 participants, with the resulting scale examined for internal consistency, unidimensionality, and concurrent validity with 4 other self-report measures of global personality dysfunction. Items representing the 4 subcomponents of personality dysfunction were found to manifest high degrees of internal consistency, and were highly related to each other, supporting the AMPD contention that these core dysfunctions reflect a single dimension of personality dysfunction. Correlations with concurrent validity measures were large, with associations at the global level of dysfunction often exceeding .80. The developed instrument is reprinted in the supplementary materials, with the goal of encouraging additional refinement and development by other investigators as part of the call for additional research on the AMPD.

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