Dimensional personality profiles of borderline personality disorder in comparison with other personality disorders and healthy controls

J Pers Disord. 2002 Apr;16(2):135-47. doi: 10.1521/pedi.


The present study examined the sensitivity and clinical specificity of dimensional personality profiles associated with borderline personality disorder (BPD) by comparing three groups of patients: (a) patients with BPD according to DSM-IV criteria (n = 31); (b) patients with other DSM-IV PD (n = 31); and (c) general population controls (n = 31). All three samples were matched for age and gender and the two patient samples were matched for chronicity and depressive symptoms. All patients were given the Six-Factor Test measuring the five-factor model of personality (FFM), the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), and the Dimensional Assessment of Personality Pathology (DAPP). Nonparametric statistics were applied to analyze the data (Mann-Whitney-U-tests for group comparisons; Spearman's coefficients for correlational analyses). Neuroticism (FFM), Self-Directedness (TCI), and Emotional Dysregulation (DAPP) were identified as general markers of personality pathology, which were significantly interrelated in all three samples. BPD patients also showed a specific profile compared with other PD patients with lower scores on Agreeableness (FFM), higher scores on Novelty Seeking and Self-Transcendence (TCI), and higher scores on the DAPP higher-order dimensions of Emotional Dysregulation, Dissocial Behavior, and Inhibitedness. Results support the assumption that BPD can be characterized by dimensional approaches with sufficient sensitivity in comparison with healthy controls and specificity in comparison with other PD patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / psychology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Personality Disorders / diagnosis
  • Personality Disorders / psychology
  • Personality Inventory
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Statistics, Nonparametric