Executive functioning in people with personality disorders

Domingo Garcia-Villamisar, John Dattilo, Marta Garcia-Martinez

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Purpose of review This review summarizes recent executive functions research to better delineate the nosology of personality disorders. Recent findings This review indicates that there are consistent impairments in executive functioning in people with personality disorders as compared with matched controls. Only five disorders were considered: borderline, obsessive-compulsive, antisocial, narcissistic, and schizotypal. Significant deficits are observed in decisionmaking, working memory, inhibition, and flexibility. Relevant data for the remaining personality disorders have not yet been published in relation to the executive functions. Summary People with personality disorders could present a pattern of neurocognitive alterations that suggest a specific impairment of the prefrontal areas. The executive dysfunctions could partially explain the behavioral alterations in people with personality disorders. Further research should adopt broader considerations of effects of comorbidity and clinical heterogeneity, include community samples and, possibly, longitudinal designs with samples of youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-44
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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