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J Pers Disord. 2005 Jun;19(3):233-61.

Continuity of axes I and II: toward a unified model of personality, personality disorders, and clinical disorders.

Author information

  • Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota, N414 Elliott Hall, 75 East River Road, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0344, USA. krueg038@umn.edu


In the current standard psychiatric nomenclature, the DSM-IV-TR (APA, 2000), mental disorders are divided into two groups: Clinical Disorders (CDs) and Personality Disorders (PDs), and CD and PD diagnoses are recorded on two separate axes (Axes I and II, respectively). This article considers evidence regarding putative bases for distinguishing between CDs and PDs, and finds that these constructs are more similar than distinct. Links between the domains may be better understood by focusing on how personality connects CDs and PDs. This perspective underlines the need to work toward a more unified model of personality, PDs, and CDs in research and in future editions of the DSM.

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