Personality Constructs and Paradigms in the Alternative DSM-5 Model of Personality Disorder

Abby L. Mulay, Nicole M. Cain, Mark H. Waugh, Christopher J. Hopwood, Jonathan M. Adler, Darren J. Garcia, John E. Kurtz, Katherine A. Lenger, Rebecca Skadberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The DSM–5 Section III alternative model for personality disorders (AMPD) is a personality disorder (PD) nosology based on severity of personality dysfunction and pathological traits. We examined the degree to which the personality constructs identified by McAdams and Pals (2006; dispositional traits, characteristic adaptations, narrative identity) and the paradigms of personality assessment described by Wiggins (2003; psychodynamic, interpersonal, personological, multivariate, empirical) are represented within the AMPD. Nine raters expert with the AMPD and personality evaluated elements of Criterion A and the 25 trait facets of Criterion B for presence of type and degree of personality constructs and paradigms, as well as level of inference. Criterion B showed higher rater agreement compared to Criterion A. Criteria A and B reflect different configurations of construct, paradigm, and level of inference. The characteristic adaptation construct and interpersonal paradigm were strongly reflected in both Criteria A and B. The psychodynamic and personological paradigms and the narrative identity construct were highly correlated, and the multivariate, empirical, and dispositional traits variables were highly correlated. Results illustrate differential conceptual emphases as well as areas of overlap with Criteria A and B. This characterization highlights that PD nosology rests on personality theory and suggests implications for integrative PD assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-602
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Personality Assessment
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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