Adolescent alcohol use disorders predict adult borderline personality

  • Thatcher D
  • Cornelius J
  • Clark D
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Background: This study investigated adolescent alcohol use disorders (AUDs) and other characteristics as predictors of adult borderline personality disorder (BPD) symptoms. Methods: Adolescents with AUDs (n = 355) were recruited from clinical treatment sources and adolescents without AUDs (n = 169) were recruited from the community. During an adolescent assessment (age 16 ± 1.3), childhood physical and/or sexual abuse history, AUDs and associated psychiatric disorders were measured via semi-structured interviews. Symptoms of BPD were measured in a young adult follow-up assessment (age 22 ± 2.4). Latent class analysis was utilized to classify individuals into four categories based upon BPD symptom profiles. Results: Multinomial regression models indicated that adolescent AUDs and other psychiatric disorders mediated the relationship between child physical and/or sexual abuse and adult BPD latent class. Conclusions: Results were consistent with a developmental conceptualization of BPD, with AUDs and other adolescent psychopathology antecedents representing developmentally relevant forms of dysregulation, and in their more severe forms culminating in borderline symptomatology. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Alcohol use disorders
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Childhood sexual abuse
  • Prospective
  • Treatment

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  • Dawn L. Thatcher

  • Jack R. Cornelius

  • Duncan B. Clark

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