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Psycology » Psychiatry and psychotherapy » Personality disorder » Common causes of personality disorders


Although there is some evidence that the normal person is partially inherited, data on the role of the genetic contribution to the development of personality disorders is still not enough. In this paper, Shields (1962) presents the results of research on the basis of normal variation study of 44 pairs of monozygotic twins, and some of them were separated from birth. The values ​​obtained when testing individual separately reared twins separated pairs of matched to the same extent as that of the pairs of twins who grew up together, and it suggests a significant genetic influence. Some authors (e.g., Mayer-Gross et al. 1969) hypothesized whereby personality disorders it is only the extreme degree of genetic variants (the norm). However, no direct evidence to test it yet. There is speculation that schizotypal personality disorder is genetically associated with schizophrenia. Kendler et al. (1981) obtained data in support of this idea in the study of foster children: this type of personality found in an increasing number of biological relatives of foster children who become ill with schizophrenia than in the relatives of those in the control group. However Torgersen (1984) in the study of 44 probands with schizotypal personality disorder, schizophrenia is not found, none of them twins. The second question is whether a schizotypal personality its own genetic basis (not associated with schizophrenia). Data on this issue a bit, but Torgersen (1984) found an increased prevalence of schizotypal personality disorder among twins of probands with this disorder, suggesting a genetic contribution to its etiology.


The idea that the body is connected with the constitutional temperament, illustrated by the common belief that fat people are different cheerful character. Kretschmer (Kretschmer 1936) attempted to examine this relationship in a scientific way. He described the three body types: Pyknic (Chunky and rounded), athletic (with strongly developed muscles and bones) and asthenic or leptosomnoe (thin and narrow). Kretschmer suggested that endomorph addition associated with cyclothymic personality type normal and pathological personality type cycloid (for cyclothymic characteristic changeable mood). Asthenic addition shizotimicheskim considered related to the type of normal personality and schizoid personality type pathological (shizotimiki cold, aloof, self-centered). Theory Kretschmer should be approached with caution, as some of his subjective judgments about the personality and in his conclusions, he did not rely on statistics. Sheldon with his colleagues (1940) repeated the study, using the methods that are closer to quantitative. Instead of treating the individual patient body to one of the three constitutional types, he assessed it in three dimensions. They used for these measurements term refers to: Endomorphicallypredominance of soft roundness Mesomorphic prevalence of musculoskeletal and connective tissue Ectomorphic predominance narrowness (elongation) and fragility. Score obtained as a result of a carefully developed procedures to reflect the position of the subject in the three measurements: so figure at 711 corresponded endomorphically and 444 average level in all three dimensions. Sheldon also tried to develop a methodology for objective evaluation of the individual, but, unfortunately, chose to refer to these goals, which is now out of use. Vistserotoniya Signified relaxation and pleasure from the comfort Somatotoniya vigor and energy, and Tserebrotoniya Indicates a strong inhibitory control and a tendency to prefer symbolic action reaction (Sheldon et al. 1942). Efforts Sheldon, aimed at improving the accuracy of the estimate, have not led to the identification of an unambiguous relationship between body type and personality. Interest in this aspect of the fall in recent years. In any case, even if unable to prove the existence of such a connection, meaning it would be difficult to explain. Apparently, the most probable link could be genetic background of both variables.

Contact with mental illness

As already mentioned, Kretschmer assumed that there is a relationship not only between the type of personality and physique, but also between the type of personality and mental illness. From this perspective, some personality disorders represent an incomplete manifestation of the process (probably genetically determined), which causes the disease. Schizoid personality type is considered as a step of the way leading to schizophrenia, and cycloidal to manic-depressive psychosis. Although this theory is not supported by convincing evidence, traces of its influence in terms of saved cycloid and schizoid. Perhaps there is a little less certain genetic link between mental disorder and personality disorder than expected on the basis of data on the increased prevalence of different types of personal anomalies among relatives of patients with schizophrenia (see p.217) and manic-depressive disorder (see p. 176) .


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