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Br J Psychiatry. 2002 Jun;180:536-42.

Prevalence and correlates of personality disorders in a community sample.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.



Knowledge of the prevalence and correlates of personality disorders in the community is important for identifying treatment needs and for provision of psychiatric services.


To estimate the prevalence of personality disorders in a community sample and to identify demographic subgroups with especially high prevalence.


Clinical psychologists used the International Personality Disorder Examination to assess DSM-IV and ICD-10 personality disorders in a sample of 742 subjects, ages 34-94 years, residing in Baltimore, Maryland. Logistic regression was used to evaluate the association between demographic characteristics and DSM-IV personality disorder clusters.


The estimated overall prevalence of DSM-IV personality disorders was 9%. Cluster A disorders were most prevalent in men who had never married. Cluster B disorders were most prevalent in young men without a high school degree, and cluster C disorders in high school graduates who had never married.


Approximately 9% of this community sample has a DSM-IV personality disorder. Personality disorders are over-represented in certain demographic subgroups of the community.

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