Predicting borderline personality disorder symptoms in adolescents from childhood physical and relational aggression, depression, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
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Developmental cascade models linking childhood physical and relational aggression with symptoms of depression and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; assessed at ages 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14) to borderline personality disorder (BPD) features (assessed at age 14) were examined in a community sample of 484 youth. Results indicated that, when controlling for within-time covariance and across-time stability in the examination of cross-lagged relations among study variables, BPD features at age 14 were predicted by childhood relational aggression and symptoms of depression for boys, and physical and relational aggression, symptoms of depression, and symptoms of ADHD for girls. Moreover, for boys BPD features were predicted from age 10 ADHD through age 12 depression, whereas for girls the pathway to elevated BPD features at age 14 was from depression at age 10 through physical aggression symptoms at age 12. Controlling for earlier associations among variables, we found that for girls the strongest predictor of BPD features at age 14 was physical aggression, whereas for boys all the risk indicators shared a similar predictive impact. This study adds to the growing literature showing that physical and relational aggression ought to be considered when examining early precursors of BPD features.
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