Background: The purpose of this study was to characterize the development of BPD symptoms across adolescence by evaluating the fit of several latent variable growth models to annual assessments of symptoms obtained from girls when they were ages 14 through 19 years. After determining the best fitting model, we examined prospective associations between the temperament dimensions of emotionality, activity, low sociability, and shyness and BPD symptom development. Methods: We utilized longitudinal data from the Pittsburgh Girls Study; one of the few large-scale, prospective studies of girls (N = 2,450) in the United States. Parent- and teacher-reports of girls' temperament were collected at Wave 1, when girls were ages 5-8 years. Child-reports of BPD symptoms were collected annually beginning at age 14 through 19 years. Results: We found that a free curve slope intercept model provided the best model fit, with the course of BPD symptoms characterized by a large component of inter-individual stability and a smaller component representing within-individual changes across adolescence. Symptoms appeared to peak by age 15, decline through age 18, and remain steady between ages 18 and 19 years. Both parent- and teacher-reports of temperament emotionality, activity, low sociability, and shyness predicted the developmental course of symptoms. Conclusions: BPD symptoms in adolescence reflect trait-like differences between youth with less within-person variability across time. Childhood temperament dimensions of emotionality, activity, low sociability, and shyness predict adolescent BPD symptom development. Parent- and teacher-informants provide unique information about the course of BPD symptoms, underscoring the utility of collecting child assessments using multiple informants.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Borderline Personality Disorder and Emotion Dysregulation|
|State||Published - Dec 9 2014|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (MH056630), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (DA012237), and by funding from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Dr. Stepp’s effort was supported by K01 MH086713.
© 2014 Stepp et al.
- Borderline personality disorder
- Childhood temperament