MARCH 19 | 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

The DSM-5 Alternative Model of Personality Disorders (AMPD) offers for the first time a dimensional diagnostic framework for assessing personality functioning across the lifespan. In this talk, a developmental model for personality pathology is presented which outlines the integrated developmental function of the AMPD’s Criterion A (maladaptive self and interpersonal function) and Criterion B (maladaptive trait function). This model suggests that a child’s position on any dispositional trait dimension (Criterion B/Big 5/internalizing-externalizing-psychotic spectra) can be readily identified and recognized already in infancy and has been found to remain relatively stable throughout development. However, while children may display extreme scores indicative of maladaptive trait function, they are not diagnosed with personality disorder before adolescence, because until adolescence, there is a limited requirement placed on children to acquire the new level of knowledge, skills, and cultural competence to successfully transition to an independent adult role. These functions of “work and love” are articulated in Criterion A of the AMPD and include functioning pertaining to identity, self-direction, empathy, and intimacy. While Criterion A domains can be assessed in pre-adolescence, these components do not “bind together” into a unidimensional severity criterion until adolescence. Clinical implications of the model for the assessment of personality development is discussed by extending it into a Clinical Staging assessment framework, which allows for the evaluation of personality function across both developmental epochs and stages of disorder progression.

Goals & Objectives 

  1. Participants will be able to articulate three approaches to understanding the development of personality pathology: the personality-psychopathology spectrum approach, DSM-5 Section II personality disorder, and DSM-5 Section III maladaptive personality function.
  2. Participants will gain understanding of how these three approaches may be related in an integrated model for the development of personality pathology.
  3. Participants will be able to apply this integrated model to a Clinical Staging approach for the assessment of personality pathology in young people.

Headshot of Dr. Carla SharpCarla Sharp, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Clinical Psychology doctoral program at the University of Houston and Interim Associate Dean for Faculty and Research. She is also the Director of the Adolescent Diagnosis Assessment Prevention and Treatment Center and the Developmental Psychopathology Lab at the University of Houston. Her work has significantly advanced the scientific understanding of the phenomenology, causes, correlates and treatment of personality pathology in youth. She is the recipient of the 2016 Mid-career award from the North American Society for the Study of Personality Disorders and the 2018 Award for Achievement in the Field of Severe Personality Disorders from the Personality Disorders Institute and Borderline Personality Disorder Resource Center, New York. She is the current President of the International Society for the Study of Personality Disorders and incoming Associate Editor for APA Journal Personality Disorders: Theory, Research and Treatment. She has published over 260 peer reviewed publications (h-index 59), in addition to numerous chapters and books, including Handbook of Borderline Personality Disorder in Children and Adolescents (Springer, 2013). Her work has been funded by the NICHD, NIAAA, NIMH, the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation and other foundations.

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