Basic traits predict the prevalence of personality disorder across the life span: the example of psychopathy.

TitleBasic traits predict the prevalence of personality disorder across the life span: the example of psychopathy.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
JournalPsychological science
Volume24
Issue5
Pagination698-705
ISSN0956-7976
Abstract

Personality disorders (PDs) may be better understood in terms of dimensions of general personality functioning rather than as discrete categorical conditions. Personality-trait descriptions of PDs are robust across methods and settings, and PD assessments based on trait measures show good construct validity. The study reported here extends research showing that basic traits (e.g., impulsiveness, warmth, straightforwardness, modesty, and deliberation) can re-create the epidemiological characteristics associated with PDs. Specifically, we used normative changes in absolute trait levels to simulate age-related differences in the prevalence of psychopathy in a forensic setting. Results demonstrated that trait information predicts the rate of decline for psychopathy over the life span; discriminates the decline of psychopathy from that of a similar disorder, antisocial PD; and accurately predicts the differential decline of subfactors of psychopathy. These findings suggest that basic traits provide a parsimonious account of PD prevalence across the life span.

URLhttp://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797612460249?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub%3dpubmed
DOI10.1177/0956797612460249
Short TitlePsychol Sci
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