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(p. 3) Historical Overview of Personality Disorders 

(p. 3) Historical Overview of Personality Disorders
(p. 3) Historical Overview of Personality Disorders

Thomas A. Widiger

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date: 21 May 2019

The purpose of this chapter is to provide an historical overview of the classification of personality disorders. The chapter will cover the first through the fifth editions of the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic manual, although emphasis will be given to the more recent editions. Considered in particular are the various components of the proposals for DSM-5, including the deletion of five diagnoses, the inclusion of a psychodynamically-oriented level of personality functioning scale, the replacement of specific and explicit criterion sets first with narrative prototype matching and subsequently with newly developed hybrid criterion sets, and the inclusion of a dimensional trait model. Covered as well will be the World Health Organization’s diagnostic system for the personality disorders, including a dimensional trait model along with a borderline pattern qualifier, which may in fact meet with final approval. Attention will be given in particular to controversies that beset each edition, particularly with respect to complexity and empirical support. The chapter concludes with suggestions for future editions.

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