Abstract In earlier studies, the personality disorders in DSM-III-R have been demonstrated to be continous variables, thus describing personality traits with a range from normality to severe personality pathology instead of separate disorders with defined cut-off points. Thus, it seemed of interest to relate the personality disorders in the DSM-III-R to personality traits as determined by means of the Karolinska Scales of Personality (KSP). 144 patients with somatoform pain disorders orinsomia completed the study. In general the KSP scales Somatic anxiety, Psychic anxiety, Psychasthenia, Indirect aggression, Verbal aggression, Irritability and Suspicion gave significant positive correlations with all the personality disorders and the Clusters in the DSM-III-R. The scales Social desirability and Socialization gave significant negative correlations. In a stepwise regression the scales Socialization and Suspicion turned out to be of importance as concerns all three personality disorder Clusters.