Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Sara Lowmaster


The current study seeks to examine the role of maladaptive personality traits and personality functioning’s relationship with non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) engagement and suicidal behavior. Specifically, this study examined the validity of the Alternative Model of Personality Disorders (AMPD) in predicting historical and prospective self-harm behavior in comparison to the Five Factor Model. This study recruited 400 female participants, ages 18-24, who completed a battery of measures about personality functioning, traits, self-harm, and suicidal history. Two weeks after the initial assessment, participants completed a follow-up survey to assess their NSSI behavior over the past two weeks. Through point-biserial correlations, this study found that Criterion A and B of the AMPD were related to self-harm. Through a series of logistic regression analysis, Criterion A and B, together, did not increment the prediction of self-harm or suicide. In respect to this study, AMPD was the best fitting model compared to the FFM in predicting historical NSSI and suicide. In addition, we found that adding Criterion A of the AMPD combined with the FFM traits led to an increase in explained variance of NSSI; yet the AMPD was the best fit model for lifetime prevalence of suicidal behavior. Overall, through the examination of the relation between the AMPD from the FFM in predicting self-harm behavior, this study allows for a more comprehensive understanding of how Personality Functioning and personality traits are related to self-harm behavior.

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology


AMPD, FFM, NSSI, Personality, Self-Harm

Number of Pages



University of South Dakota



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