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Clinical Utility of the Five-Factor Model of Personality Disorder


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Stephanie N. Mullins-Sweatt, 115 North Murray Hall, Department of Psychology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078. Email:


There exists a great deal of research regarding the validity of the Five-Factor Model (FFM) of personality disorder. One of the most common objections to this model is concern regarding clinical utility. This article discusses clinical utility in terms of three fundamental components (i.e., ease of usage, communication, and treatment). In addition, a considerable number of recent empirical studies have examined whether the FFM compares well to personality disorder diagnostic categories with respect to all three components of clinical utility. The purpose of the current article is to provide a description of the implications of each component of clinical utility as it relates to the FFM and to acknowledge and address the empirical findings.

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