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91. Comparing Hierarchical Models of Personality Pathology
Two dimensional, hierarchical classification models of personality pathology have emerged as alternatives to traditional categorical systems: multi-tiered models with increasing numbers of factors and models that distinguish between a general factor of severity and specific factors reflecting style. Using a large sample (N=840) with a range of psychopathology, we conducted exploratory factor analyses of individual personality disorder criteria to evaluate the validity of these conceptual structures. We estimated an oblique, “unfolding” hierarchy and a bifactor model, then examined correlations between these and multi-method measures of basic personality, interpersonal functioning and other psychiatric symptoms to enrich interpretation. Four-factor solutions for each model, reflecting rotations of each other, fit well and equivalently. The resulting structures are consistent with previous empirical work and provide support for each theoretical model.