Stability of borderline personality disorder features in girls

J Pers Disord. 2010 Aug;24(4):460-72. doi: 10.1521/pedi.2010.24.4.460.


Little empirical evidence exists regarding developmental antecedents of borderline personality disorder (BPD) features in children and adolescents. As a first step in addressing this gap in our knowledge, this study examined the factor structure and stability of putative underlying BPD features, specifically impulsivity, negative affectivity, and interpersonal aggression, in 6-12-year-old girls. We report on results from exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses of underlying BPD dimensions as rated by parents and teachers over six successive data waves in a large, community sample of girls (N = 2,451). Six factors were derived from parent ratings (i.e., Cognitive Dyscontrol, (Lack of) Self-Control, Hostility, Depression/Anxiety, Hyperactivity, and Relational Aggression) and five factors were derived from teacher reports (i.e., Cognitive Dyscontrol, Hyperactivity, (Lack of) Self-Control, Relational Aggression, and Depression). The item composition of similar parent and teacher factors was highly consistent. The year-to-year stability from ages 6 to 12 was high for parent factor scores (r ranging from .71-.85) and moderately high for teacher factor scores (r ranging from .49-.77). These findings suggest that underlying dimensions of BPD features can be reliably measured and are stable in 6-12-year-old girls.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Aggression / psychology
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior / psychology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Hostility
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Concept