Description: The five-factor model of personality is not a new concept, but it has been slow to gain traction through no fault of the copious literature available to support it. This book is an attempt to further describe and educate readers about this model and its applicability to normal and pathological personality structure.
Purpose: This third edition is meant to update a decade of new research on the topic.
Audience: It is intended mainly for psychologists and psychiatrists, but could appeal to other allied behavioral health clinicians and researchers. The authors are well versed in the topic.
Features: The decision to link the importance of this book to DSM-V changes is unfortunate because it is erroneous. Even the dust jacket description mentions a likely change in DSM-V to a dimensional model of personality, which was merely a supposition by the authors and is not actually going to happen. Despite this presumption, the book is worthwhile. It begins with an introduction to and a discussion of the problems with the current classification system, illustrated through case examples. It takes a developmental approach, with childhood antecedents to personality disorders and explores their cross-cultural nature. After presenting the empirical support for the five-factor model, the second section of the book provides a more detailed investigation of how the model fits particular patient populations. Some chapters have cases with NEO profiles, while others do not. This is a shortcoming in editorial organization, as each chapter could have benefited from this type of information, providing consistency across chapters to give readers an idea of what to expect. There is a balanced discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of current measures for assessing personality traits, as well as informant reports. The final section provides salient guidance about how personality assessment and models can be used for treatment planning and particular treatment selection. As expected, there are many new references since the second edition that expand our understanding of this model.
Assessment: For clinicians and personality researchers, this book provides great insight into cutting-edge models of personality and helps to effect a paradigm shift in our understanding of both normal personality and personality disorders.