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(p. 73) Using Basic Personality Process Models to Inform the Personality Disorders: Core Momentary Stressor-Symptom Contingencies as Basic Etiology 

(p. 73) Using Basic Personality Process Models to Inform the Personality Disorders: Core Momentary Stressor-Symptom Contingencies as Basic Etiology
Chapter:
(p. 73) Using Basic Personality Process Models to Inform the Personality Disorders: Core Momentary Stressor-Symptom Contingencies as Basic Etiology
Author(s):

William Fleeson

, R. Michael Furr

, Malek Mneimne

, and Elizabeth Mayfield Arnold

DOI:
10.1093/med-psych/9780190227074.003.0004
Page of

date: 21 May 2019

This chapter argues that models articulating the processes underlying normal personality traits, even more so than the structure of normal traits, may help to inform research on personality disorders (PDs). It first describes whole trait theory as a model of normal traits that focuses on process at the same time that it is based on normal personality structure. The chapter then shows how this model makes an easy translation to process models of borderline personality disorder, thereby forming a connection between normal personality and pathological personality at a process level. The resulting general model of borderline personality disorder suggests viewing PD symptoms as distinct, momentary events rather than as stable, enduring features of people. It argues that etiological theorizing should include the proximal mechanisms that lead to temporally bounded symptoms. For example, relationship instability is seen not as a feature of the person but as an event that flares up and then fades repeatedly, in response to events and interpretations of those events. Accumulating evidence in support of this model is described. A model connecting normal personality trait processes to pathological personality processes may strengthen the connection between normal personality and pathological personality more firmly.

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