Personality Disorders

Clinical Psychology


  1. Timothy J. Trull PhD1,
  2. Ryan W. Carpenter BA2,
  3. Thomas A. Widiger PhD3

Published Online: 26 SEP 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118133880.hop208004

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

How to Cite

Trull, T. J., Carpenter, R. W. and Widiger, T. A. 2012. Personality Disorders. Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition. 8:I:4.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Missouri, Department of Psychological Science, Columbia, Missouri, USA

  2. 2

    University of Missouri, Department of Psychological Science, Columbia, MO, USA

  3. 3

    University of Kentucky, Department of Psychology, Lexington, Kentucky, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 26 SEP 2012


In this chapter we discuss the diagnosis, etiology, and pathology of personality disorders. We begin with a general discussion of the definition, clinical importance, and assessment of personality disorders. We then discuss each of the 10 DSM-IV personality disorders (i.e., paranoid, schizoid, schizotypal, antisocial, borderline, histrionic, narcissistic, avoidant, dependent, and obsessive-compulsive), considering in particular their description, epidemiology, and etiology. We then discuss the latest status of the controversial proposals for personality disorders in the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-5). We conclude with a description and understanding of the personality disorders from a dimensional trait model, the five factor model (FFM). The dimensional trait model proposed for DSM-5, as well as the traits proposed for each individual personality disorder, are closely aligned with the FFM. However, we suggest how the personality disorder nomenclature should be further revised to provide a truly integrative model of normal and abnormal personality.


  • personality disorder;
  • paranoid;
  • schizoid;
  • schizotypal;
  • antisocial;
  • borderline;
  • histrionic;
  • narcissistic;
  • avoidant;
  • dependent;
  • obsessive-compulsive;
  • dimensional;
  • categorical;
  • five factor model