On studying the relationship between personality and mental disorder - Suggestions for further study
Links between traits and mental disorders have been postulated off and on for centuries, but since a recent revival of interest within psychology, there has been a consistent and expanding field of research concerned with studying what is now widely accepted as the ‘personality- psychopathology relationship’. This thesis explores that field of research, considering what has led to its stagnation and apparent difficulty in reaching robust and useful conclusions. In doing so, I provide an overview and critique of the study of the personality-psychopathology relationship. Several limitations of recent research are identified and explored, specifically concerning its focus of inquiry, statistical methodology and conceptual foundations. Throughout the thesis, I discuss the appropriate scientific method(s) and necessary conceptual considerations involved in studying the relationship between personality and mental disorder, and make some suggestions about what is required for robust and reliable research in this area.