Latent structure analysis of DSM-IV borderline personality disorder criteria

Andrea Fossati, Cesare Maffei, Maria Bagnato, Deborah Donati, Caterina Namia, Liliana Novella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to evaluate the structure of DSM-IV borderline personality disorder (BPD) criteria. The study group consisted of 564 consecutively admitted inpatients and outpatients. BPD criteria discriminatory power was tested by using corrected item-to-total and item- to-diagnosis correlations. Weighted least-squares (WLS) confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to assess the fit of DSM-IV BPD unidimensional model. The categorial model of BPD was tested by exploratory latent class analysis (LCA). Item analysis suggested a hierarchy in BPD criteria discriminatory power, even if with different rank order with respect to the DSM-IV model. CFA showed a unifactorial structure with congeneric items as the best fitting model for DSM-IV BPD criteria (χ2 = 18.89, df = 27, P > .87). LCA showed evidence for three latent classes; heterogeneity was observed only among subjects falling below DSM-IV diagnostic threshold for BPD. These results support the categorial model of BPD, even if with several differences with respect to DSM-IV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-79
Number of pages8
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Psychology(all)


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