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Prevalence of DSM-IV borderline personality disorder in two community samples : 6,330 English 11-year-olds and 34,653 American adults

By Mary C. Zanarini, Jeremy Horwood, Dieter Wolke, Andrea Waylen, Garrett M. Fitzmaurice and Bridget F. Grant


This study had two main objectives. The first was to assess the prevalence of DSM-IV borderline personality disorder and its constituent symptoms in a community sample of late-latency children. The second was to compare these rates to those found in a community sample of American adults. A birth cohort of 6,330 11-year-old children in Bristol, England, was interviewed concerning borderline psychopathology in 2002–2004. A community sample of 34,653 American adults was interviewed about borderline psychopathology in 2004–2005. Rates of chronic emptiness, physically self-damaging acts, and stormy relationships were very similar in both samples (<2% difference). However, a significantly higher percentage of children than adults reported being angry and moody. In contrast, a significantly higher percentage of adults than children reported being paranoid/dissociated, having a serious identity disturbance, being impulsive, and making frantic efforts to avoid abandonment. In addition, a significantly higher percentage of adults than children met DSM-IV criteria for BPD (5.9% vs. 3.2%). Statistically significant but clinically minor gender differences were also found between girls and boys as well as men and women. Taken together, the results of this study suggest that late-latency children are about half as likely as adults to meet DSM-IV criteria for BPD. They also suggest that gender does not play a defining role in symptom expression

Topics: RC0321
Publisher: Guilford Press
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1521/pedi.2011.25.5.607
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