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J Pers Disord. 2011 Feb;25(1):16-27. doi: 10.1521/pedi.2011.25.1.16.

Interpersonal competence across domains: relevance to personality pathology.

Author information

  • 1Emory University. amurali@emory.edu


Interpersonal problems are significant markers of personality disorders (PDs). There is little research examining the specific interpersonal problems which lead to social impairment in PD. This study used canonical correlation analyses to examine the relationship between interpersonal competence and PDs, first as categorized by DSM-IV diagnoses, then as categorized by empirically-derived factors, in a sample at risk for recurrence of major depression. The most significant sources of shared variance were social inhibition and self-disclosure competence. The empirically-derived PD categories accounted for more variance in interpersonal competence than the DSM-IV diagnostic categories. Social skills training in initiation and self-disclosure may be useful for treating individuals with PD who experience interpersonal problems. Empirically-derived categories of PD symptoms may capture interpersonal problems experienced by individuals with PD which DSM-IV categories do not.

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