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01-12-2017 | Uitgave 3/2018

Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment 3/2018

Associations Between Lower Order Facets of Personality and Dimensions of Mental Disorder

Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment > Uitgave 3/2018
Kate E. Walton, Gerald Pantoja, Wilson McDermut


Although there is a plethora of research documenting the relations between broad personality traits and psychopathology, there is decidedly less on the relations between lower order facets and psychopathology. In the current study, we explored the associations between lower order personality traits and dimensions of mental disorder. A combined sample of undergraduates and outpatients completed self-reports of personality and mental disorder. Symptom counts of mental disorders were factor analyzed, and a higher order three-factor solution emerged. One factor was substance use disorder (SUD), and internalizing branched into distress and fear. These dimensions were regressed on facets from the Big Five model of personality. SUD was significantly predicted by high excitement-seeking from the extraversion domain and low self-discipline from conscientiousness. Distress and fear were indistinguishable from one another but showed a different pattern of relations from SUD. High anxiety and depression from neuroticism, low gregariousness from extraversion, high aesthetics and low actions from openness, low trust and high tender-mindedness from agreeableness, and low self-discipline from conscientiousness significantly predicted distress and fear. The findings demonstrate that lower order traits within a single domain have complex relations with psychopathology, which are shrouded when examining broad, higher order traits. Assessment and treatment implications are discussed.

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