Genetic and Environmental Influences on Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fifth Edition (DSM–5) Maladaptive Personality Traits and Their Connections With Normative Personality Traits

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The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders-Fifth Edition (DSM–5) proposes an alternative model for personality disorders, which includes maladaptive-level personality traits. These traits can be operationalized by the Personality Inventory for the DSM–5 (PID-5). Although there has been extensive research on genetic and environmental influences on normative level personality, the heritability of the DSM–5 traits remains understudied. The present study addresses this gap in the literature by assessing traits indexed by the PID-5 and the International Personality Item Pool NEO (IPIP-NEO) in adult twins (N = 1,812 individuals). Research aims include (a) replicating past findings of the heritability of normative level personality as measured by the IPIP-NEO as a benchmark for studying maladaptive level traits, (b) ascertaining univariate heritability estimates of maladaptive level traits as measured by the PID-5, (c) establishing how much variation in personality pathology can be attributed to the same genetic components affecting variation in normative level personality, and (d) determining residual variance in personality pathology domains after variance attributable to genetic and environmental components of general personality has been removed. Results revealed that PID-5 traits reflect similar levels of heritability to that of IPIP-NEO traits. Further, maladaptive and normative level traits that correlate at the phenotypic level also correlate at the genotypic level, indicating overlapping genetic components contribute to variance in both. Nevertheless, we also found evidence for genetic and environmental components unique to maladaptive level personality traits, not shared with normative level traits.

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