Psychosocial functioning in adolescents with and without borderline personality disorder

Ueli Kramer, Christina M Temes, Laura R Magni, Garrett M Fitzmaurice, Blaise A Aguirre, Marianne Goodman, Mary C Zanarini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Little is known about the psychosocial functioning of adolescents with borderline personality disorder (BPD). The main objective of this paper is to compare the psychosocial functioning of a group of adolescents with BPD to a group of psychiatrically healthy adolescents.

METHODS: The present cross-sectional study included 104 adolescent inpatients with BPD, compared with 60 age-matched psychiatrically healthy comparison subjects. All participants were rigorously diagnosed using three semi-structured interviews: the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Childhood Diagnoses, the Revised Diagnostic Interview for Borderlines and the Childhood Interview for DSM-IV Borderline Personality. All subjects were also interviewed using the adolescent version of the Background Information Schedule to assess multiple facets of psychosocial functioning.

RESULTS: Adolescents with BPD rated their relationships with their parents as significantly less positive, were more likely to date, but spent more time alone than their healthy counterparts. In addition, adolescents with BPD reported significantly more problems at work and school (i.e. lower frequency of having a good work or school history, higher frequency of being suspended or expelled from school) and significantly lower rates of participation in extra-curricular activities than their healthy counterparts.

CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, the results of this study suggest that adolescents with BPD are more impaired in both the social and vocational areas of functioning than psychiatrically healthy comparison subjects. They might also suggest that an overlooked area of strength concerns their relationships with peers. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-170
Number of pages7
JournalPersonality and Mental Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017


  • Journal Article


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