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Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease:
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e318064e824
Original Article

Under the Axis II Radar: Clinically Relevant Personality Constellations That Escape DSM-IV Diagnosis

Blagov, Pavel S. MA; Bradley, Rebekah PhD; Westen, Drew PhD

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Abstract

Research suggests that personality pathology lies on a continuum from relatively severe to less severe and that subthreshold variants may not be adequately captured by axis II of DSM-IV. In this study, we used a measure of personality and psychopathology designed for experienced clinical observers (the SWAP-200) to derive subthreshold personality constellations in a sample of 159 psychotherapy patients who were high functioning but nevertheless suffered from maladaptive personality patterns. Using Q-factor analysis (an empirical clustering procedure), we identified 4 diagnostic groupings or SPC, which resembled the clinical concept of “neurotic styles”: depressive, hostile-competitive, obsessive, and hysterical. The results of this study should stimulate further research on subthreshold personality configurations.

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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