Date of Award

Winter 12-2016

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Degree Name

Master of Arts (AM/MA)

Degree Type



Several studies have examined the Level of Personality Functioning Scale (LPFS) from the DSM-5 as rated using diagnostic interviews conducted by trained clinicians (Few et al., 2013; Zimmermann et al., 2014). These studies have demonstrated the reliability and validity of the LPFS, but suffer from a common limitation, namely, that diagnostic interviews probe specifically for information pertaining to functioning. This probing may inflate reliability and introduce confounds into the assessment of functioning. The purpose of the current analyses is to examine the reliability and validity of personality functioning ratings obtained in the absence of information pertaining to personality disorder criteria. The current analyses use a subsample of 163 participants from the St. Louis Personality and Aging Network, a longitudinal study of personality, health and aging in older adults. The subsample consisted of participants that demonstrated some level of personality pathology as assessed by the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Personality, as well as controls matched on race, gender and level of education. Naive undergraduate students rated video recordings of Life Story Interviews, using a 12-item version of the LPFS. The ICCs (1,5) were .73 for self-functioning and .56 for interpersonal functioning, indicating fair to good reliability. LPFS subscales showed theoretically consistent associations with DSM-IV PD types, and contributed significant variance to the prediction of certain PD symptoms over and above adaptive range personality traits. The present findings demonstrate that the LPFS can capture personality functioning without probing for pathological content. As such, they have important implications for the revision and implementation of the DSM-5 Alternative Model for Personality Disorders.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Thomas Oltmanns

Committee Members

Ryan Bogdan, Desiree White


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