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J Pers Disord. 2008 Aug;22(4):427-32. doi: 10.1521/pedi.2008.22.4.427.

Age-related differences in individual DSM criteria for borderline personality disorder.

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Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, 3811 O'Hara Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.


This study examined age-related effects of individual DSM criteria for borderline personality disorder (BPD) and symptoms of depression and anxiety in three groups: patients diagnosed with BPD, another personality disorder, or no personality disorder. The goal was to determine if distinctive age effects emerged within the BPD group. This mixed clinical and community sample (N = 380) ranged from 20-50 years old. Each participant was assessed for symptoms of axis I and II psychopathology. We found significant interactions for personality disorder group x age for the suicidal behavior and impulsivity criteria that reflected distinctive changes in the BPD group. The BPD group reported significantly more anxious and depressive symptoms. However, no main effect for age or personality disorder x age interaction emerged with symptoms. These results demonstrate that older individuals with BPD report less impulsivity and fewer suicidal behaviors, although symptoms of distress persist.

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