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Impact of Borderline Personality Pathology on Treatment Outcomes in Adolescents in Residential Treatment

The Role of Emotion Regulation


Journal of Psychiatric Practice®: November 2018 - Volume 24 - Issue 6 - p 388–398
doi: 10.1097/PRA.0000000000000349

Despite growing research on the impact of borderline personality pathology (BPP) on treatment outcomes for emotional disorders among adults, no studies have examined this question in adolescents. Moreover, no studies have examined mediators of the relation between BPP and changes in mood and anxiety symptoms during treatment. This study examined the impact of BPP on treatment outcomes in 141 adolescents in psychiatric residential treatment, as well as the mediating role of change in emotion regulation (ie, adaptive responses to emotions) in the relation between baseline BPP and improvements in psychiatric symptoms during treatment. Participants completed questionnaires assessing emotion regulation and depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms at baseline and posttreatment. Although BPP was not directly associated with the magnitude of change in psychiatric symptoms from baseline to posttreatment, it was positively associated with greater improvement in emotion regulation during treatment. Furthermore, results revealed significant indirect effects of BPP on improvements in all psychiatric symptoms through improvement in emotion regulation.

GRATZ: Department of Psychology, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH

BENTLEY: Department of Pharmacy Administration, University of Mississippi, University, MS

YOUNG: Department of Psychology, University of Mississippi, University, MS

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Please send correspondence to: Kim L. Gratz, PhD, Department of Psychology, Mail Stop 948, University of Toledo, 2801 West Bancroft Street, Toledo, OH 43606 (e-mail:

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