Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Dependent Personality Disorder

  • Cynthia RolstonEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_9205


Dependent Personality Disorder (DPD) is a clinical disorder characterized by persistent, excessive reliance on others for emotional support and guidance, extreme fear of separation, and pervasive self-doubt about one’s ability to function autonomously. Clinging, submissive relationships across contexts emerge in early adulthood. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association 2013) criteria include:
  • Difficulty making decisions, and initiating and completing tasks independently

  • Requiring others to assume responsibility for major areas of life, fearing inability to meet own needs

  • Going to extreme lengths to sustain nurturance and support, avoiding disagreement with others

  • Feeling uncomfortable or helpless alone, urgently seeking another when a close relationship ends


The disorder is classified with the Cluster C Personality Disorders in DSM-5.

Current Knowledge


Prevalence estimates are around...

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References and Readings

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PM&RVirginia Commonwealth University-Medical College of VirginiaRichmondUSA