Mental health literacy, sub-clinical personality disorders and job fit
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonJournal of Mental Health. 2019, 28 (3), 249-254. 10.1080/09638237.2018.1437606
Background: This study looked at lay theories of how people with sub-clinical personality disorders experience the world of work. Aims: The aim was to investigate the paradox that subclinical and clinical personality disorders are seen as beneficial for success, rather than a handicap in certain jobs. Methods: In all, 230 participants read 14 vignettes derived from Oldham and Morris’s book describing DSMIII personality disorders for a popular audience. Participants were invited to suggest what type of work each disordered person may be successful at, as well as six ratings of their social adjustment. Results: There was a tendency for people to believe those with OCD to be suited to Accountancy, Narcissism and Paranoia to General Management, Histrionic PD to being an Actor and Schizotypal an Artist. Surprisingly Paranoid and Sadistic people were judged to be good managers and Histrionic, Passive Aggressive and Schizotypal the worst. People in Cluster C were judged as best managers, but those in Cluster B as better adjusted. Conclusions: Results show that lay people believe that certain “dark-side” traits associated with personality disorders, particularly dependency and OCD, are thought to be beneficial for success, rather than failure, in many jobs.