An investigation of the prototype validity of the borderline DSM-IV construct

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2004 Apr;109(4):289-98. doi: 10.1046/j.1600-0447.2003.00268.x.


Objective: To investigate the prototype validity of the borderline personality disorder (BPD) DSM-IV construct.

Method: Patients (n = 930) from the Norwegian Network of Psychotherapeutic Day Hospitals. Exploratory/confirmatory factor analyses, correlation and reliability statistics, chi-square, and frequency distributions.

Results: Number of BPD criteria showed no distinct threshold between No-BPD and BPD patients among whom 136 different combinations of criteria occurred. Both factor analyses supported that one component/latent variable accounted for the variance of the BPD criteria, showing a high convergent and discriminant validity. The criterion of unstable relationships displayed the highest diagnostic efficiency, and that of chronic feelings of emptiness the lowest.

Conclusion: The prototype theoretical model for BPD fitted the data well and appeared to be satisfactory described by the current criteria. The emptiness criterion needs a more appropriate definition and the hierarchy of the criteria in DSM-IV should be revised.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / epidemiology
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / therapy
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Psychological Theory
  • Reproducibility of Results