Temperamental patterns in female adolescents with borderline personality disorder

J Nerv Ment Dis. 2013 Feb;201(2):109-15. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e31827f6480.


A specific composition of temperament traits with high novelty seeking (NS), high harm avoidance (HA), and low reward dependence (RD) has been attributed to adult patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD). This study examined whether an analogue personality profile is specifically associated with adolescent BPD. The female study sample comprised 33 adolescents with BPD, 35 clinical controls (CCs), and 31 healthy controls (HCs). Dimensions of temperament and character were measured according to Cloninger's biopsychosocial model of personality. Significantly higher means of NS and HA but lower means of RD could be determined in the adolescents with BPD compared with the CCs and the HCs. The comparable findings of this specific temperament constellation in adolescents and adult patients with BPD suggest that heritable factors such as temperamental traits may contribute to the vulnerability for developing BPD. Early identification of a "borderline temperament" may facilitate early intervention and lower the risk for developing BPD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / psychology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Character*
  • Comorbidity
  • Depression / psychology
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Harm Reduction*
  • Humans
  • Personality Assessment
  • Personality Development
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Research Design
  • Reward*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Temperament*