Exploring screening for borderline personality disorder in pediatric inpatients with psychiatric Illness

Michèle Preyde, Marco DiCroce, Shrenik Parekh, John Heintzman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a severe psychiatric illness associated with poor personal and interpersonal functioning. Screening for BPD in adolescents and provision of specialized treatment may improve life circumstances in vocations and relationships. The purpose of this study was to determine the number of pediatric inpatients who would screen positive for BPD with a self-rating measure, and to compare their personal and interpersonal characteristics with youth who did not screen positive. A survey with self-report measures was administered to patients to screen for BPD. The mean age of the sample was 15 years and 71% identified as female gender. Of 109 patients 72 (66%) screened positive for BPD while only eight (7%) patients were diagnosed by psychiatrists with BPD or features of BPD. There were no statistically significant differences between those who scored positive versus negative for BPD in age, gender, or avoidant anxiety. There were statistically significant differences in anxious attachment, distress, clinical symptoms, problematic use of electronic devices, considered suicide, past trauma and prior suspensions from school. This exploration in pediatric inpatients suggests that many of these patients may be at risk for a diagnosis of BPD later in life and may benefit from early identification and specialized intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number114397
JournalPsychiatry Research
StatePublished - Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Early identification
  • Identify risk
  • Poor life outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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