Genetic and environmental contributions to the co-occurrence of depressive personality disorder and DSM-IV personality disorders.

Research paper by Ragnhild E RE Ørstavik, Kenneth S KS Kendler, Espen E Røysamb, Nikolai N Czajkowski, Kristian K Tambs, Ted T Reichborn-Kjennerud

Indexed on: 13 Jun '12Published on: 13 Jun '12Published in: Journal of personality disorders


One of the main controversies with regard to depressive personality disorder (DPD) concerns the co-occurrence with the established DSM-IV personality disorders (PDs). The main aim of this study was to examine to what extent DPD and the DSM-IV PDs share genetic and environmental risk factors, using multivariate twin modeling. The DSM-IV Structured Interview for Personality was applied to 2,794 young adult twins. Paranoid PD from Cluster A, borderline PD from Cluster B, and all three PDs from Cluster C were independently and significantly associated with DPD in multiple regression analysis. The genetic correlations between DPD and the other PDs were strong (.53-.83), while the environmental correlations were moderate (.36-.40). Close to 50% of the total variance in DPD was disorder specific. However, only 5% was due to disorder-specific genetic factors, indicating that a substantial part of the genetic vulnerability to DPD also increases the vulnerability to other PDs.