Linking Emotion Dysregulation to a Dimensional Model of Maladaptive Traits and Personality Dysfunction

Isabella Manuel, Fordham University


The DSM-5 Alternative Model of Personality Disorders (AMPD) redefines PDs as a combination of personality dysfunction (Criterion A) and maladaptive personality traits (Criterion B). Although emotion dysregulation is considered a unifying factor of personality disorders, it has not been closely examined in relation to the AMPD. The present study demonstrates the associations between emotion dysregulation, personality dysfunction, and maladaptive personality domains. In tandem, recent debate has centered on whether these two components within the AMPD have unique predictive utility for PD-relevant outcomes. We therefore examine the independent contributions of personality dysfunction and maladaptive personality traits in explaining individual differences in emotion dysregulation. We also analyze the incremental effect of a standalone assessment of borderline PD symptoms–above and beyond AMPD components–in accounting for emotion dysregulation, since borderline PD has historically been thought to have a uniquely important conceptual tie with emotion dysregulation. A sample of 520 college students (62% female, 63% White, Mage= 19.0 years) completed the Personality Inventory for DSM-5, short version (Maples et al., 2015); Level of Personality Functioning Scale, Self-Report (Morey, 2017); Personality Assessment Inventory-Borderline Features Scale; and Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (Gratz & Roemer, 2004). Personality dysfunction was identified as the most profound predictor of emotion dysregulation (r = .69, β= .58), while three out of the five maladaptive personality domains emerged as significant predictors. The AMPD appears to be an effective model of the emotion regulation deficits that accompany PDs. Criteria A and B collectively accounted for well over half of variation in self-reported emotion dysregulation in this non-clinical sample. Each part of the AMPD contributed to emotion dysregulation variance independently; both had incremental predictive validity, although overlap among them was substantial. We also found that borderline PD symptoms (at least the non-affective components) made little contribution above and beyond the AMPD dimensions. This result is consistent with the idea that the AMPD captures borderline PD dimensions implicated in emotion dysregulation.

Subject Area

Clinical psychology|Developmental psychology

Recommended Citation

Manuel, Isabella, "Linking Emotion Dysregulation to a Dimensional Model of Maladaptive Traits and Personality Dysfunction" (2023). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30426408.