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JAMA Psychiatry. 2013 Nov;70(11):1206-14. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.1944.

Structure of genetic and environmental risk factors for symptoms of DSM-IV borderline personality disorder.

Author information

1
Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo 2Institute of Psychiatry, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.

Abstract

IMPORTANCE:

Previous studies have indicated that the psychopathological dimensions of borderline personality disorder (BPD) are influenced by a unitary liability factor. However, to our knowledge, the underlying etiological nature of the individual criteria for BPD as defined by the DSM-IV has not been explored.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the structure of genetic and environmental risk factors for the symptoms of BPD.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS:

Multivariate twin study with BPD criteria assessed by personal interview within a general community setting. Participants included 2794 young adults from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health Twin Panel.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES:

The 9 criteria for BPD assessed by the Structured Interview for DSM-IV Personality.

RESULTS:

A common pathway model dominated by 1 highly heritable (55%) general BPD factor that strongly influenced all 9 BPD criteria (standardized path coefficients, 0.53-0.79) fit the data best. The model also included 2 additional common liability factors, mainly influencing criteria reflecting the affective and interpersonal dimensions. Both of these were mostly influenced by environmental liability factors (heritability, 29.3% and 2.2%). With 1 exception (criterion 2, unstable and intense relationships), the specific criteria were strongly influenced by environmental factors. Five of the 9 criterion-specific genetic effects were either 0 or negligible.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE:

These results indicate that most of the genetic effects on the individual BPD criteria derive from 1 highly heritable general BPD factor, whereas the environmental influences were mostly criterion specific.

PMID:
24048243
PMCID:
PMC3927987
DOI:
10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.1944
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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