Overlap between general factors of psychopathology and personality: They share associations with daily life functioning and communication style

Dimitri van der Linden*, Curtis S. Dunkel, Peter Prinzie, Misa Yamanaka-Altenstein, Agnes von Wyl, Michael P. Hengartner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Previous studies have shown that specific personality dimensions, -e.g., the Big Five-, consistently intercorrelate, such that they form a general factor of personality (GFP). It has been hypothesized that the GFP reflects social effectiveness. Similarly, in the clinical domain, overlap between various psychopathological symptoms has also been reported, leading to a general factor of Psychopathology, or p factor. The aim of this study was to test the overlap between the higher-order factors in personality and psychopathology, and how they relate to daily life functioning and communication style. We tested a sample of 165 outpatients of a psychological therapy institute, using a multi-source approach that included self-reports and other ratings. The outpatients’ self-reports of personality, general psychological problems, and interpersonal problems were available. Psychotherapists rated the outpatients’ functioning in daily life with the well-known Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale. A spouse or friend also rated the impact of the patient’s communication/social behavior. Patients with lower GFP scores and higher scores on general psychopathology, displayed more distress and daily functioning deficits (i.e., lower GAF scores) and, in terms of communication styles, were also rated as being less dominant, less in control socially, and more submissive and aggressive. We proposed that part of the overlap between the general factors (GFP, psychopathology factors) may relate to a lower general life functioning and less social effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2021

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