Robert C. Abrams Professor of Psychiatry

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Personality Disorders in the Aging

The overall objectives of Dr. Abrams' research are to investigate personality disorders and a broad range of personality dimensions in the elderly. Studies are concerned with the clinical significance of personality disorders and traits among geriatric depressives as possible predictors of relapse and recurrence of depression, and among both geriatric depressives and normal elderly subjects as predictors of institutionalization, quality of life, and disability. Comparisons with young adult subjects are used to examine the interactions of personality, affect, and aging.

This work is supported by NIMH Academic Career Award K07 MH01025. The specific aims of the project are to:

  1. Assess lifetime personality functioning in geriatric depressives and examine its relationship to the course and outcome of the affective disorder.
  2. Compare the personality functioning of elderly patients recovered from major depression and normal geriatric controls.
  3. Investigate the capacity of personality traits and disorders in geriatric subjects to predict the disability and quality of life associated with medical and psychiatric illness.


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Primary Affiliation

  • Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University