Western personality models applied in Eastern Europe: Yugoslav data

Tamara Dzamonja Ignjatovic, Dragan Svrakic

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12 Scopus citations


In this study, two leading "Western" models of personality developed in the United States are tested in Eastern Europe, specifically in Yugoslavia. First, the models were tested psychometrically, for their construct validity and cross-cultural applicability. Next, these Western personality models were used to explore the underlying structure of axis II syndromes of personality disorder as observed in Yugoslav patients. Finally, the models were tested regarding their ability to diagnose and discriminate categorical diagnoses of axis I mental disorders (e.g., depression, anxiety, and psychoses). The Five Factor Model of personality and the Seven Factor Model of temperament and character were applied to normal subjects and clinical patients with categorical axis I and axis II diagnoses (depression, anxiety, psychosis, and personality disorder), at the Institute for Psychiatry, University of Belgrade, Yugoslavia. The sample included 120 subjects: 90 hospitalized psychiatric patients and 30 normal subjects. The patients were females, from 20 to 45 years of age, classified into three groups: 30 with depression, 30 with various anxiety syndromes, and 30 with psychosis (primarily patients with schizophrenia, paranoid type in remission). The results indicated solid psychometric validity of the two Western personality models in the ethnically and culturally different setting of Yugoslavia. Important diagnostic and structural relationships between dimensions of personality and axis I and II categorical diagnoses were observed. As expected, certain combinations of personality traits allowed for diagnosis, description, and discrimination of personality disorder subtypes. As a novel finding, personality traits discriminated anxious, depressive and psychotic axis I disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-59
Number of pages9
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


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