A dimensional approach to assessing personality functioning: examining personality trait domains utilizing DSM-IV personality disorder criteria.
Personality disorder researchers have long considered the utility of dimensional approaches to diagnosis, signaling the need to consider a dimensional approach for personality disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V). Nevertheless, a dimensional approach to personality disorders in DSM-V is more likely to succeed if it represents an orderly and logical progression from the categorical system in DSM-IV. With these considerations and opportunities in mind, the authors sought to delineate ways of synthesizing categorical and dimensional approaches to personality disorders that could inform the construction of DSM-V. This discussion resulted in (1) the idea of having a set of core descriptive elements of personality for DSM-V, (2) an approach to rating those elements for specific patients, (3) a way of combining those elements into personality disorder prototypes, and (4) a revised conception of personality disorder as a construct separate from personality traits.