According to Lenzenweger, not only is this study breaking new ground in PD research, it also represents a sea change in research methods. Prior to the inception of the LSPD, existing studies had simply used test-retest methods where people are studied once and then again at a later point. Lenzenweger's approach tracks subjects for a longer period of time and uses a range of measurements, which offers a better understanding of the link between childhood and adulthood. He plans to assess all of these subjects again in the next few years, tracking the group as they enter their late 30s.
Lenzenweger also hopes secure genetic (DNA) data from all of the subjects to help further the understanding of the genetic factors that might be predictive of change and stability in personality and personality disorder over time. This kind of data collection would also be new to the study of PD, allowing Lenzenweger to once again enter uncharted territory in the field.
"This new approach, which would include genetics, will give us a much better idea of how subjects are doing as they encounter the complex things that happen further along in the course of life," said Lenzenweger. "This includes marriage, divorce, sickness, health, childbearing, career, unemployment, and economic challenges. A focus on these factors, both biological and social, will provide a clearer window on how personality and personality disorder changes across the lifespan, and give us a clearer insight into territory that remains largely unexplored."
|Contact: Gail Glover|