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Compr Psychiatry. 1988 May-Jun;29(3):298-303.

Age and sex distribution of DSM-III personality cluster traits in a community population.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Brockton VA Medical Center, MA 02401.


DSM-III pathological personality cluster traits were measured on a community sample of 235 people. Traits in the schizoid cluster (schizoid, schizotypal, and paranoid) showed no change with age while traits in the dramatic cluster (antisocial, narcissistic, borderline, and histrionic) and to some extent the anxious cluster (avoidant, dependent, compulsive, and passive/aggressive) showed similar significant associations with age. This pattern was a reverse "J" shaped curve, with mean number of traits declining from younger to older groups and a slight upturn in the oldest age group (60 years plus). Women aged 31 to 40 years had a higher mean number of traits than their male counterparts, with a corresponding increase in impairment. The highest levels of personality traits in men were found at ages 18 to 30, while in women the 31 to 40 year group was highest.

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