From the Unknown towards Indicated Prevention: How Personality Dimensions Became Key Players in the Developmental Field of Personality Disorders

Barbara de Clercq

Barbara De Clercq obtained her PhD in 2006 and holds a position as Associate Professor in personality psychology at the Department of Developmental, Personality and Social Psychology of Ghent University (Belgium). Her research is situated in the field of developmental personality psychology and mainly focuses on the assessment, development and dimensional structure of personality pathology from childhood onwards. She developed and validated an age-specific instrument for describing early manifestations of personality pathology, which has been internationally endorsed by seminal people in the field and empirically connects with the Five-Factor Model and the dimensional DSM-5 trait model of personality disorders.

Her work also focuses on transactional processes between child and environmental factors that contribute to the development, maintenance and outcome of personality pathology throughout childhood and adolescence, and further advocates the role of individual differences in various childhood outcomes. At Ghent University, she teaches courses in the field of personality psychology, individual coaching, and primary pediatric mental health care. She was the primary organizer of an international expert meeting in 2016 on recent trends in the assessment of personality and their translational value toward clinical, applied and educational settings, funded by the European Association of Personality Psychology. She is also an active member of the Global Alliance for the Prevention of Borderline Personality Disorder (GAP), and participates in the international HiTOP consortium.

She has been Associate Editor of Psychological Assessment, and is currently an editorial board member for Assessment and the Journal of Personality Disorders. Besides the academic work, she completed her psychotherapeutic training in 2007 and has combined the academic work with clinical work at the department of pediatrics for 8 years. Since 2017, she is one of the members of a multidisciplinary unit on early temperamental dysregulation problems in infants, where a transactional approach of parent-child dynamics forms the cornerstone of the treatment.

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