The diagnostic efficiency of Axis II personality disorder criteria

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Committee Member

Theodore Millon, Committee Chair


Axis-II, personality disorder criteria outlined in DSM-III-R have been the focus of much investigation and criticism. While appreciable advances in our understanding have been made, there is still a considerable distance to travel before a fully comprehensive classification schema is obtained. The present study provided an empirical demonstration of the diagnostic efficiency and internal consistency of the criteria proposed in the DSM-III-R and in a systematic theoretical model proposed by Millon. The results of this study were three-fold. Initially, using a prototypic framework, eighteen of the more commonly occurring personality disorder subtypes were clinically defined by features representative of DSM-III-R and Millon's criteria. The results not only delineated the most efficient descriptors of these subtypes, but suggested that the current atheoretical stance of the DSM-III-R should be reconsidered. Second, the most descriptive diagnostic features were reflective of several clinical attributes. Hence, multi-level clinical analysis may prove most useful in fully characterizing and understanding diagnostic entities. Finally, the results of this investigation will contribute to the refinement of a newly devised clinician judgment rating form, the Millon Personality Diagnostic Checklist. The implications of this project were discussed with reference to revisions in the upcoming DSM-IV.


Psychology, Clinical

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