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New directions for an old construct: Depressive personality research in the DSM-5 era


Address correspondence to: Steven Huprich, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI, USA. Email:


The DSM-5 Personality and Personality Disorders Work Group has suggested that the DSM-IV depressive personality disorder (DPD) construct be assessed within a proposed set of trait domains, which include anxiousness, depressivity, and anhedonia, and that the diagnostic category itself be removed from the DSM-5. A review of studies on DPD has demonstrated many challenges and limitations to DPD research, despite strong evidence of its validity and clinical utility. Nevertheless, there remains much interest in how a depressive personality construct fits into a dimensionalized framework of assessing psychopathology. In this paper, I offer three major research directions that can help advance our understanding of the depressive personality construct. These directions can inform researchers and clinicians how depressive personality fits within broad trait dimensions of classification, as well as the internal psychological processes, dynamics and content that characterize this type of psychopathology. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.