Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

Jack Samuels and Paul T. Costa

in The Oxford Handbook of Personality Disorders

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

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder


Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) has been described in the clinical literature for over 100 years. Although the specific traits included in the construct have changed over time, there is remarkable consistency in the core concept. OCPD is clinically significant, given its relatively high prevalence in the community, its frequent co-occurrence with mood disorders, anxiety disorders, especially obsessive-compulsive disorder, and eating disorders, and treatment challenges. Although OCPD can be quite severe, it is generally less impairing than other personality disorders in the clinic, and it has not been found to be strongly related to functional impairment in the community. OCPD has excellent construct validity, but concerns have been raised about the stability over time and the reliability of assessment. OCPD may be alternatively construed dimensionally, with high conscientiousness as an important feature. Like other personality disorders, OCPD is better understood and described in terms of a combination of traits or facets rather than as reflecting a single domain of personality. In this regard, a number of studies illuminate the contribution of high neuroticism, low openness to actions and values, low agreeableness, and low extraversion facets of warmth and positive emotions. Finally, there are many advantages to tying personality disorders, and especially OCPD, to established dimensions of general personality because a great deal is already known about the dimensions of the Five-Factor Model.

Keywords: obsessive-compulsive personality disorder; personality disorders; personality; Five-Factor model

Article.  11709 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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