Theories of general personality and mental disorder
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Background: A major shortcoming of current research into personality is its failure to explore the relationship between theories of general personality and mental disorder. Aims: To provide preliminary data to address this deficit. Method: In the first of two studies, we examined the relationship between the Neuroticism, Extraversion and Other - Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) and DSM personality disorders in a consecutive series of mentally disordered offenders. In the second, we sought to separate the personality dimension neuroticism from symptoms of depressive disorder in a sample of subjects with current depression. Results: Factors from the NEO-FFI were associated with different personality disorders in a predictable manner (first study). It was possible to identify a component of neuroticism (i.e. 'worry') that could be separated from depressive symptoms (second study). Conclusions: Theories of general personality theory can enlighten and refine descriptions of abnormal mental states by informing both their aetiology and their prognosis.