A prospective, longitudinal, study of men with borderline personality disorder with and without comorbid antisocial personality disorder
Article [Version of Record]
Is part ofBorderline Personality Disorder and Emotion Dysregulation ; vol. 4, no 25, p. 1-13
Background: Some evidence suggests that the prevalence of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is elevated among male criminal offenders. It is not presently known whether offending, and violent offending, are limited to those presenting comorbid Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) who have a childhood history of conduct problems and whether offending is linked to psychopathic traits. Methods: A community sample of 311 males followed from age 6 to 33 years, one third of whom had a criminal charge between ages 18 and 24, completed diagnostic interviews and the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised interview. Information on childhood included parent-reported family characteristics and teacher-rated of hurtful and uncaring behaviours, conduct problems, hyperactivity and inattention, and anxiety at age 6, 10, and 12 years. Health files were obtained as were records of criminal convictions from age 12 to 33. Results: At age 33, 4% of the men presented BPD and not ASPD, 16% ASPD and not BPD, 8% BPD + ASPD, and 72% neither disorder (ND). Comorbid disorders were common: BPD were distinguished by high levels of anxiety disorders, BPD and BPD + ASPD by depression disorders, and BPD, BPD + ASPD, and ASPD by substance dependence. Official files indicated use of health services by all participants. One-third of participants with BPD and BPD + ASPD acquired a diagnosis of a personality disorder. More than one-third of participants with BPD + ASPD obtained scores indicative of the syndrome of psychopathy. Convictions for violent crimes varied across groups: In adolescence, BPD none, BPD + ASPD 16%, ASPD 16%, and ND 3.6%; from age 18 to 33, BPD 18%, ASPD 19%, BPD + ASPD 52%, and ND 4.4%. Offenders with BPD + ASPD were convicted, on average, for four times more violent crimes than offenders with ASPD and seven times more than ND offenders. In childhood, men with BPD + ASPD and with ASPD had obtained similarly elevated ratings for disruptive behaviours as compared to ND. Conclusion: BPD comorbid with ASPD was associated with violent criminal offending in adolescence and most strongly in adulthood, elevated levels of psychopathic traits, and childhood disruptive behaviour. BPD showed similar characteristics but to a much less degree.