A national field trial of the criteria for self-defeating personality
disorder was conducted in 1986. Among psychiatrists with a special interest
in personality disorders there was a lack of consensus as to the need for
the category in DSM-III-R. Although the diagnosis was more commonly made
for female patients, the disorder was by no means rare in male patients.
The diagnostic criteria for the disorder had high sensitivity and
specificity. However, a series of analyses indicated that the category had
limited descriptive validity and considerable overlap with borderline and
dependent personality disorders.