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Predisposing factors, predictive signs and specific indicators of Personality Disorders


It is particularly difficult to obtain reliable epidemiological data on personality disorders. The fact is that such disorders have a less evident impact than pathologies like schizophrenia or major affective disorders, defined by signs and behaviours that are easily observable, descrivable and measurable. Moreove, since personality disorders involve broader aspects than individual functioning, reaching e consensus on the criteria for evaluating their prevalence and incidence is much more complicated. It is even more difficult to trace data in the literature regarding the prevalence and incidence of personality disorders in children and adolescents. This is because regarding the extension of the concept of " Personality Disorders" to these populations, a certain reluctance is noted, due in part to concern about attributing to children and adolescents labels of gravity and non-malleability, and in part to clinical awareness that in the child and the adolescent the personality is not yet structured. Moreover, categorial diagnostic systems do not take into account the complexity of the factors at the affective, cognitive and behavioural levels and the fact that what constitutes a maladjustment pattern at a given age may instead be a wholly physiological relational modality at a different stage of development.