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Childhood Precursors of Adult Borderline Personality Disorder Features

A Longitudinal Study

Cramer, Phebe PhD

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: July 2016 - Volume 204 - Issue 7 - p 494–499
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000514
Original Articles

This study identifies childhood personality traits that are precursors of adult Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) features. In a longitudinal study, childhood personality traits were assessed at age 11 (N = 100) using the California Child Q-set (CCQ: Block and Block, 1980). A number of these Q-items were found to be significantly correlated (p < 0.001) with a prototype-based measure of BPD features at age 23. Factor analysis of these Q-items suggested that they could be characterized by two underlying personality dimensions: Impulsivity and Nonconformity/Aggression. The findings thus provide evidence that childhood personality traits predict adult BPD features. Identifying such childhood precursors provides an opportunity for early intervention.

Department of Psychology, Williams College, Willliamstown, MA.

Send reprint requests to Phebe Cramer, PhD, Department of Psychology, Williams College, 18 Hoxsey Street, Willliamstown, MA 01267. E-mail:

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