OBJECTIVE: Existing research has demonstrated that both adolescents and adults with borderline personality disorder (BPD) report higher rates of childhood adversity than their same-age peers; no studies have examined if adolescents and adults with BPD differ based on the extent of these experiences. In the present study, we compared the prevalence rates and severity of multiple forms of abuse and neglect in adolescents and adults with BPD and in psychiatrically healthy adolescents.
METHODS: Participants included 104 adolescent (aged 13-17 years) inpatients with BPD, 60 age-matched, psychiatrically healthy adolescents, and 290 adult inpatients with BPD. All participants completed an interview that assessed the presence and severity of multiple forms of childhood abuse and neglect.
RESULTS: A significantly higher percentage of adolescents with BPD reported 5 of 12 pathological childhood experiences and described more severe abusive experiences than their psychiatrically healthy peers. In comparison with adolescents with BPD, a significantly higher percentage of adults with BPD reported nearly all forms of childhood adversity and rated these experiences as more severe.
CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, these results suggest that adults with BPD report more severe profiles of abuse and neglect than adolescents with the disorder, even though adolescents with BPD differ from healthy peers. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
- Journal Article