Personality disorders in older adults: Emerging research issues

S.P.J. van Alphen, S.D.M. van Dijk, A.C. Videler, G. Rossi, E. Dierckx, F. Bouckaert, R.C. Oude Voshaar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Empirical research focusing on personality disorders (PDs) among older adults is mainly limited to studies on psychometric properties of age-specific personality tests, the age neutrality of specific items/scales, and validation of personality inventories for older adults. We identified only two treatment studies—one on dialectical behavior therapy and one on schema therapy—both with promising results among older patients despite small and heterogeneous populations. More rigorous studies incorporating age-specific adaptations are needed. Furthermore, in contrast to increasing numbers of psychometric studies, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-5 pays little attention to the characteristics of older adults with PDs. Moreover, the constructs “personality change due to another medical condition” and “late-onset personality disorder” warrant further research among older adults. These needs will become even more pressing given the aging society worldwide.
Keywords: Older adults, DSM-5, Personality disorders, Late-onset personality disorder, Personality change due to another medical condition, Prevalence, Course, Assessment, Treatment, Psychotherapy
Original languageEnglish
Article number538
JournalCurrent Psychiatry Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'Personality disorders in older adults: Emerging research issues'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this