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Construct Validity and Prevalence Rate of Borderline Personality Disorder Among Chinese Adolescents

Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1521/pedi.2009.23.5.494

The construct of borderline personality disorder (BPD) among adolescents is a controversial topic. No research has examined the BPD construct among Chinese adolescents because the Chinese Classification of Mental Disorders-III rejects BPD as a valid diagnostic category. The present study explored the construct validity and prevalence of BPD among Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong. A total of 4,110 high school students completed the McLean Screening Instrument for borderline personality disorder (MSI-BPD) and other measures assessing various BPD traits twice over a one-year period. DSM-IV-TR BPD criteria set as measured by the MSI-BPD demonstrated good internal consistency, concurrent validity and test-retest reliability. Confirmatory factor analysis of the MSI-BPD revealed four theoretically meaningful factors, namely affect dysregulation, impulsivity, interpersonal disturbances, and self/cognitive disturbances. Prevalence rate of BPD, according to a stringent simulated diagnostic procedure used in this study, was estimated to be 2% among Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong. Findings support that BPD is a valid clinical construct among Chinese adolescents. More research on BPD among the Chinese population is warranted.