The validity of two diagnostic systems for personality disorder in people with intellectual disabilities: a short report

William R. Lindsay (Department of Psychology, University of Abertay, Dundee, UK)
Anne van Logten (Department of Psychology, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands)
Robert Didden (Department of Psychology, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands)
Lesley Steptoe (NHS Tayside, Dundee, UK)
John L. Taylor (Department of Psychological Services, Northumbria University – Coach Lane Campus, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
Todd E. Hogue (Lincoln University, Lincoln, UK)

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour

ISSN: 2050-8824

Publication date: 11 September 2017

Abstract

Purpose

Over the last ten years, there has been greater interest in the diagnosis of personality disorder (PD) in people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). One important characteristic of a diagnostic system is that it should have validity as a contribution to utility. PD has been found to have a predictive relationship with violence and the purpose of this paper is to review two methods for the diagnosis of PD in offenders with IDD in order to evaluate the utility of the diagnoses.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 212 offenders with ID were recruited from three settings – maximum-security, medium/low security and community services. Diagnoses of PD in the case files were compared with a structured system of diagnosis based on DSM-IV traits.

Findings

There were significant differences between the two systems with a significantly higher frequency of PD diagnosis in the community forensic setting in the structured assessment system. There was no relationship between the case files diagnosis of PD and future violence but there was a significant predictive relationship between the structured diagnosis of PD and future violence with an AUC=0.62.

Research limitations/implications

As with all such studies, the research is limited by the quality of the case files available to the researchers.

Practical implications

Only the structured assessment of PD had utility for the prediction of violence. Reasons for the differences between the systems are discussed and suggestions made on how a diagnosis of PD can be structured for the busy clinician.

Social implications

The accurate diagnosis of PD has important implications since the PD is a crucial addition to any violence risk evaluation.

Originality/value

This study is the first of its kind to review the way in which clinicians assess PD.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Since the time of writing, William R. Lindsay has regrettably died.

Citation

Lindsay, W.R., van Logten, A., Didden, R., Steptoe, L., Taylor, J.L. and Hogue, T.E. (2017), "The validity of two diagnostic systems for personality disorder in people with intellectual disabilities: a short report", Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 104-110. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIDOB-04-2015-0004

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Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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