Beliefs and personality disorders: an overview of the personality beliefs questionnaire.
The hypothesis that each personality disorder (PD) is characterized by a specific set of beliefs was tested in a sample of 643 subjects, including non-patient controls, axis-I and axis-II patients, diagnosed with SCID-I and -II interviews. Beliefs of six PDs (avoidant, dependent, obsessive-compulsive, paranoid, histrionic, borderline) were assessed with the Personality Disorder Belief Questionnaire (PDBQ). Factor analyses supported the existence of six hypothesized sets of beliefs. Structural equation modeling (SEM) supported the hypothesis that each PD is characterized by a specific set of beliefs. Path coefficients were however in the medium range, suggesting that PDs are not solely determined by beliefs. Nevertheless, empirically derived cutoff scores of the six belief subscales were reasonably successful in classifying subjects, percentages ranging form 51% to 83%. It appeared that there was a monotonical increase in scores on each belief subscale from non-patient controls, to patients without any PD, to patients with PDs (other than the pertinent PD), to patients with the pertinent PD. This suggests that PD-related beliefs are at least partly associated with (personality) psychopathology in general. Another explanation is that many patients' position on the underlying dimensions is not high enough to lead to a DSM PD diagnosis, but high enough to lead to an elevated belief score.