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Borderline personality disorder is equally trait-like and state-like over ten years in adult psychiatric patients


Conway, Christopher C; Hopwood, Christopher J; Morey, Leslie C; Skodol, Andrew E (2018). Borderline personality disorder is equally trait-like and state-like over ten years in adult psychiatric patients. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 127(6):590-601.

Abstract

Borderline personality disorder (PD) has historically been cast as an unabating condition. Longitudinal data, however, support a more variable time course marked by remission and relapse. In the present study, we tested the possibility that borderline PD has both stable (i.e., consistently present across time and situation, as modern diagnostic systems stipulate) and dynamic (i.e., episodic and situational) elements. Participants were 668 patients from the Collaborative Longitudinal Personality Disorders Study who were administered semistructured diagnostic interviews 5 times over a decade. Trait-state-occasion modeling dissected borderline pathology into time-invariant (i.e., trait) and time-varying (i.e., state) components. Contradicting traditional views of PD intransigence, less than half of borderline PD variability (approximately 45%) was time-invariant (i.e., perfectly stable) over the study timeframe. Furthermore, we found that the time-invariant component of borderline pathology, which we termed borderline proneness, was very closely related (r = .81) to a previously validated Five Factor Model trait composite of borderline features. Moreover, the trait versus state components showed a clear pattern of discriminant validity in relation to several putative causal agents for borderline PD (i.e., environmental pathogens, temperament dimensions). We conclude that borderline pathology contains a stable core and sizable situational components, and that both elements relate systematically to normative personality dimensions and known risk factors. These findings have key implications for etiological research, prognosis, and treatment for borderline PD.

Abstract

Borderline personality disorder (PD) has historically been cast as an unabating condition. Longitudinal data, however, support a more variable time course marked by remission and relapse. In the present study, we tested the possibility that borderline PD has both stable (i.e., consistently present across time and situation, as modern diagnostic systems stipulate) and dynamic (i.e., episodic and situational) elements. Participants were 668 patients from the Collaborative Longitudinal Personality Disorders Study who were administered semistructured diagnostic interviews 5 times over a decade. Trait-state-occasion modeling dissected borderline pathology into time-invariant (i.e., trait) and time-varying (i.e., state) components. Contradicting traditional views of PD intransigence, less than half of borderline PD variability (approximately 45%) was time-invariant (i.e., perfectly stable) over the study timeframe. Furthermore, we found that the time-invariant component of borderline pathology, which we termed borderline proneness, was very closely related (r = .81) to a previously validated Five Factor Model trait composite of borderline features. Moreover, the trait versus state components showed a clear pattern of discriminant validity in relation to several putative causal agents for borderline PD (i.e., environmental pathogens, temperament dimensions). We conclude that borderline pathology contains a stable core and sizable situational components, and that both elements relate systematically to normative personality dimensions and known risk factors. These findings have key implications for etiological research, prognosis, and treatment for borderline PD.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Psychiatry and Mental Health
Life Sciences > Biological Psychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords:Clinical Psychology, Psychiatry and Mental health, Biological Psychiatry
Language:English
Date:1 August 2018
Deposited On:25 Mar 2022 14:48
Last Modified:27 Jun 2024 01:36
Publisher:American Psychological Association
ISSN:0021-843X
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1037/abn0000364
PubMed ID:29952598