Semi-structured Diagnostic Interviews and Peer Reports for Personality Disorder Assessment

Fredette, Melissa Kathleen, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia
Turkheimer, Eric, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia

Although semi-structured diagnostic interviews of DSM-IV-TR personality disorders (PDs) are the preferred method of PD assessment, they sometimes provide an incomplete picture of a person. Many studies have documented the utility of using peer report as an alternative form of personality disorder assessment. The current study investigated whether peer-report and stranger report augmented semi-structured interview data. One hundred videotaped Structured Interview for DSM-IV-TR Personality (SIDP- IV) interviews for whom peer-nomination PD data had previously been obtained were selected. Ninety of these interviews were chosen for having elevated peer-nominated PD ratings and high diagnostic variability (low comorbidity among PD diagnoses according to peer-report). Ten were randomly selected from the remaining interviews. Each interview was rated by two Clinical Psychology doctoral candidates who had completed their Masters degree in psychology and by two undergraduates using the DSM-IV-TR Axis II features and the Five-Factor model (NEO-PI-R) of personality. Relationships among Masters-level raters' ratings, undergraduates' ratings, original peers' nominations, and SIDP-IV scores were examined. Several undergraduate and Masters-level ratings of PD features and NEO-PI-R facets predicted peer-nominated PDs after controlling for the SIDP-IV. Peers provided information that was distinct from SIDP-IV information. Results suggest that there was additional information left in the SIDP-IV interview after the structured scoring guidelines were completed. Results further suggest that it is advisable to use multiple forms of assessment when assessing personality disorders.

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PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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