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date: 18 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of the course of personality disorders. The chapter begins with a discussion of general conceptual and methodological issues in the study of the temporal stability and course of personality disorder; more specifically, dimensional versus categorical models of classification and developmental issues. This is followed by a summary and discussion of four contemporary longitudinal studies; in particular, the Children in the Community Study (Cohen, Crawford, Johnson, & Kasen, 2005), the Longitudinal Study of Personality Disorders (Lenzenweger, 1999), the McLean Study of Adult Development (Zanarini, Frankenburg, Hennen, Reich, & Silk, 2005), and the Collaborative Longitudinal Personality Disorders Study (CLPS; Skodol, Gunderson et al., 2005). With respect to the CLPS, specific attention is given to the findings concerning stability of categorical diagnoses, dimensional features, functional impairment, and component traits. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the implications of these findings for the diagnosis and conceptualization of personality disorder, as well as suggestions for future research.

Keywords: personality disorder, course, stability, reliability, impairment, categorical, dimensional

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