Dating Violence and Peer Conflict In Adolescents With and Without Borderline Personality Disorder



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Background: A hallmark feature of borderline personality disorder (BPD) is unstable interpersonal relationships. Adolescents with BPD may be more likely to experience teen dating violence (TDV) and peer conflict. Yet, there is little research studying TDV and peer conflict in the context of BPD. The overall aim of this study was to examine whether adolescents with BPD or BPD features report higher levels of TDV and peer conflict. Method: The sample included 235 inpatient adolescents with BPD, 417 non-BPD psychiatric inpatient adolescents, and 441 healthy adolescents. Self-report measures of BPD features, TDV, and peer conflict were completed by the three groups of adolescents. A semi-structured BPD interview was conducted across the two inpatient groups. Results: While controlling for relevant demographic variables, results revealed that TDV victimization, perpetration and all forms and functions of peer conflict had a significant association with borderline features. Furthermore, the BPD group had higher levels of TDV victimization and reactive overt aggression than the psychiatric controls and healthy controls, even after controlling for relevant demographic variables. There were no significant differences between BPD and control groups in TDV perpetration and other forms and functions of peer conflict. Conclusions: Findings suggest that TDV and peer conflict are important correlates for BPD pathology. TDV and peer conflict ought to be considered for early prevention and treatment of BPD.



Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Dating violence, Peer conflict, Adolescents