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.
"The question of how PDs are affected by aging has been debated, but has lacked a research base on which to anchor a definitive answer. Some evidence points to a decline in expression of the symptoms associated with the cluster of disorders labeled dramatic and erratic (including borderline, histrionic, and narcissistic) in midlife with an increase in symptoms again in later life ( Reich et al., 1988 ). Others suggest that the decline in dramatic PDs relates to increased mortality rates among severely impulsive and erratic individuals, a decrease in energy needed to maintain the high energy symptoms, and the poor fit of the current diagnostic criteria ( Segal et al., 2006 ). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Motions and personalities are multidimensional constructs that require appropriate measures for each dimension. No single method of assessment is consistently superior to any other in cognitively intact individuals. The psychological assessment of older adults is fraught with multiple age-related factors that contribute to its complexity and resulting challenges. The assessment of emotional and personality disorders has advanced considerably in the past two decades through the design and development of assessment instruments for older adults, and through an appreciation of the many factors that can contribute to the performance of older adults. The use of multiple methods has been strongly recommended as a means to ensure accurate, reliable, and valid information. Until the issue of age-related presentations of emotional and personality disorders is addressed, clinicians should be circumspect in their use of assessment instruments developed with young adults, and their application of the current diagnostic criteria. At the very least, clinicians might consider adopting a more dimensional approach to assessment that is more sensitive to the subsyndromal presentations of emotional disorders among older adults.
Handbook of the Psychology of Aging, 01/2011: pages 325-337; , ISBN: 9780123808820
"However, in studies using a self-rated instrument for dependent personality, dependent personality features showed high stability.41 There is also evidence from epidemiological studies that cluster A pathology persists into older age.42 "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nowadays, it is apparent that personality disorder is a common condition. Some of the concepts of personality disorder that are currently in use are flawed and need to be revised. The aim of this article is to discuss the controversy created by the uncertainties in the current classification system and to suggest ways forward. In particular, the clinician needs to be aware of the importance of assessing personality abnormality in terms of a severity dimension, and of the ways in which such an abnormality can impact on treatments for other conditions. These changes in the notion of personality disorder are needed as, for the first time, a good evidence base is being established for potential treatments and these will be maximized if we have a classification fit for therapeutic purpose.
"We hypothesized that individuals with one or two of the loweractivity S or L G alleles would have lower CPI-So scores (i.e., greater sociopathy) than individuals with two copies of the L A allele. We controlled for age in the analysis, in light of work demonstrating that age was negatively related to traits characterizing Cluster B personality disorders, a rubric that includes ASPD (Reich et al., 1988). Because sex-specific effects of 5-HTTLPR have been reported (Limosin et al., 2005; Walderhaug et al., 2007), we also examined whether sex moderated the association between 5-HTTLPR and sociopathy. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present study examined the association between a measure of sociopathy and 5-HTTLPR genotype in a sample of individuals from Project MATCH, a multi-center alcohol treatment trial. 5-HTTLPR, an insertion-deletion polymorphism in SLC6A4, the gene encoding the serotonin transporter protein, results in functionally distinct long (L) and short (S) alleles. The S allele has been associated with a variety of psychiatric disorders and symptoms including alcohol dependence, but it is unknown whether 5-HTTLPR increases the risk for co-morbid sociopathy among those with alcohol dependence. Eight hundred sixty-two subjects diagnosed with alcohol dependence completed the California Psychological Inventory, a psychological assessment that includes a measure of socialization, which was used as a proxy measure of sociopathy. Subjects were genotyped for the insertion-deletion polymorphism, as well as a single nucleotide polymorphism (A→G) that is located in the inserted region. Regression analysis revealed that after controlling for age, which was negatively related to socialization score, 5-HTTLPR genotype interacted with sex to determine socialization score (P < 0.001). Males with the L'L' genotype (i.e. those homozygous for the L(A) allele) had lower socialization scores (i.e. greater sociopathy) than males who were carriers of the S' allele (P = 0.03). In contrast, women with the S'S' genotype had lower socialization scores than women with two L' alleles (P = 0.002) and tended to have lower Socialization Index of the California Psychological Inventory scores than women with one copy of the L' allele (P = 0.07). Among individuals with alcohol use disorders, the tri-allelic 5-HTTLPR polymorphism had opposite effects on socialization scores in men than women. The basis for this finding is unknown, but it may have implications for sub-typing alcoholics.
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