Age-Neutrality of a Brief Assessment of the Section III Alternative Model for Personality Disorders in Older Adults

Inge Debast, Gina Rossi, S P J van Alphen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


The alternative model for personality disorders in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders ( DSM-5) is considered an important step toward a possibly better conceptualization of personality pathology in older adulthood, by the introduction of levels of personality functioning (Criterion A) and trait dimensions (Criterion B). Our main aim was to examine age-neutrality of the Short Form of the Severity Indices of Personality Problems (SIPP-SF; Criterion A) and Personality Inventory for DSM-5-Brief Form (PID-5-BF; Criterion B). Differential item functioning (DIF) analyses and more specifically the impact on scale level through differential test functioning (DTF) analyses made clear that the SIPP-SF was more age-neutral (6% DIF, only one of four domains showed DTF) than the PID-5-BF (25% DIF, all four tested domains had DTF) in a community sample of older and younger adults. Age differences in convergent validity also point in the direction of differences in underlying constructs. Concurrent and criterion validity in geriatric psychiatry inpatients suggest that both the SIPP-SF scales measuring levels of personality functioning (especially self-functioning) and the PID-5-BF might be useful screening measures in older adults despite age-neutrality not being confirmed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-323
Number of pages14
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


  • DSM-5 Section III
  • older adults
  • personality disorders

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