Some comments on nomology, diagnostic process, and narcissistic personality disorder in the DSM-5 proposal for personality and personality disorders

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Abstract

I comment on the DSM-5 proposal for personality disorders (PDs), including discussion of the proposal's nomological revisions and their implications, the development and prioritization of a set of general criteria for PD, the shift to prototype matching of narrative descriptions for assessment of personality impairments and prominent PD types, and the recommendation to delete five PD diagnoses. Although the general criteria for PD are promising, implementation of prototype ratings for both functional impairments and PD types remains psychometrically questionable. In addition, revising the format and content of the diagnostic criteria while simultaneously deleting five diagnoses confounds evaluation of the revisions for the purposes indicated in the proposal. Finally, the performance of prior DSM criteria sets should not be the primary basis for considering the ontological status of prominent types because of construct definition problems with the criteria sets and criterion problems with DSM-based PD research. These concerns were highlighted in the case of Narcissistic PD - a diagnosis slated for deletion despite significant evidence for its clinical utility and validity when data beyond DSM criteria is considered. Changes of this magnitude are needed, but rigorous scientific evaluation is necessary before evolving from a proposal to the officially published DSM-5.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-53
Number of pages13
JournalPersonality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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