Importance of Self and Other in Defining Personality Pathology

Aaron L. Pincus, Nicole M. Cain, Alexandra L. Halberstadt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Criteria A of the DSM-5 Alternative Model for Personality Disorders (AMPD) defines personality pathology in terms of impairments in "self"(identity, self-direction) and "interpersonal"(empathy, intimacy) functioning. Articulated as a set of dynamic regulatory and relational processes that are stratified in the Level of Personality Functioning Scale, these impairments involve how individuals think and feel about themselves and others and how they relate to others. Defining personality pathology in terms of regulatory and relational processes involving self and other, and distinguishing severity of personality pathology from individual differences in its expression (Criteria B), offers the AMPD several advantages. First, it distinguishes the nature and severity of personality pathology from other forms of psychopathology. Second, it allows the AMPD to integrate personality structure and personality processes. Third, it is highly suitable for synthesis with the Contemporary Integrative Interpersonal Theory of personality. Finally, beyond the interpersonal perspective, it facilitates even broader theoretical and treatment integration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-140
Number of pages8
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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