The relationships between maladaptive personality traits and experiences in closerelationships

Almeida Costa da Silva, Luis. 2021. The relationships between maladaptive personality traits and experiences in closerelationships. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

The proposed classification for Personality Disorders in section III of the DSM5conceptually differentiates impaired personality functioning (criterion A) from theoccurrence of maladaptive personality traits (criterion B). Criterion B offers analternative trait approach with five higher order domains (Negative Affectivity,Detachment, Antagonism, Disinhibition, and Psychoticism), and criterion A specifies anumber of problems common to all Personality Disorders, specifically impairments inself- and interpersonal functioning. This Thesis aimed to establish significantrelationships between personality pathology and experiences in close relationships. Toachieve this goal, the following aims were proposed: the examination of relationshipsbetween maladaptive personality and personality functioning; the exploration of thelinks between maladaptive personality and attachment; the investigation of the linksbetween maladaptive traits and relationship intimacy and satisfaction; and theexamination of the maladaptive personality traits among different samples. The firststudy showed that Personality Functioning and maladaptive personality are negativelyassociated, with the latter being a negative predictor of Personality Functioning,replicating and extending the findings of previous research. Two studies alsoestablished associations between maladaptive personality and attachment styles(anxious and avoidant), finding that personality pathology is positively associated withanxious and avoidant attachment, but can also predict these domains. Another studyaddressed the associations of satisfaction and intimacy in relationships, with resultsshowing how maladaptive personality can impact these. The last study inspected howthe severity of maladaptive personality differed across samples and examined howcombinations of traits and their severity are a helpful way to categorize distinct andmeaningful groups. These findings help to further understand the role of personalitypathology in the way it impacts experiences of close relationships, and to contribute tothe conceptualization and operationalization of personality pathology as proposed bythe DSM-5.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


Personality, Maladaptive, Relationships, Personality Disorder

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



31 March 2021

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

19 Apr 2021 13:35

Last Modified:

07 Sep 2022 17:18


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