Honors Theses


Julie Walsh-Messinger, Ph.D.



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Honors Thesis


Historically, personality disorders have been conceptualized as qualitatively distinct clinical syndromes, based on operational criteria. Consistent with this model, ten distinct set personality disorder criteria are outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). However, debate persists about the clinical utility of this categorical model, with many (Krueger, et al.) researchers supporting a dimensional model that focuses on pathological levels of normative personality traits.

An exploratory factor analysis (De Fruyt et al., 2013) of the NEO Personality Inventory-3 (NEOPI-3; Costa & McCrae, 2010) and The Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5; Krueger, Derringer, Markon, Watson, & Skodol, 2012), suggests that normative and pathological personality traits may fall under the same common set of domains: negative affectivity-neuroticism, extraversion-detachment, openness-psychoticism, antagonism-agreeableness, and conscientious-disinhibition. The purpose of this study was to further explore the relationship between normative and pathological personality traits and to test the De Fruyt et al. model by conducting a conjoint confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) of the NEO-PI-3 and PID-5. It was hypothesized that the PID-5 and NEO-PI-3 share the same underlying factor structure. Using mPlus, the model was tested in a sample of 306 undergraduate students at a private Midwestern university. Fit indices suggested a poor fit between the CFA model and the sample data, meaning the CFA model was not adequate. Subsequently, an exploratory principle component analysis was conducted, and results revealed that 42 facets loaded on to a 5-factor model and accounted for 58.26% of the variance. More research needs to be conducted to understand the relationship between the NEO-PI-3 and PID-5, which is important, as they are consistently used to diagnose and aid in treatment of individuals with personality disorders.

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