Avoidant Personality Disorder, Traits, and Type

Charles A. Sanislow, Katelin da Cruz, May O. Gianoli and Elizabeth Reagan

in The Oxford Handbook of Personality Disorders

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199735013
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Avoidant Personality Disorder, Traits, and Type

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  • Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology



In this chapter, the evolution of the avoidant personality disorder (AVPD) diagnosis, its current status, and future possibilities are reviewed. AVPD is a chronic and enduring condition involving a poor sense of self and anxiety in social situations, and it is marked by fears of rejection and a distant interpersonal stance. AVPD may be conceptualized at the severe end of a continuum of social anxiety. In the extreme, traits, mechanisms, and symptoms become integral to chronic dysfunction in personality and interpersonal style. While AVPD is a valid diagnostic construct, the optimal organization of AVPD criteria for the diagnosis, and the relationship of avoidant personality traits to anxiety, remain to be determined.

Keywords: avoidant personality disorder; shyness; social phobia; anxiety; DSM; comorbidity

Article.  12249 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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