Personality Disorders in Adolescence and Risk of Major Mental Disorders and Suicidality During Adulthood

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Abstract

Background

A community-based longitudinal study was conducted to investigate whether personality disorders (PDs) during adolescence increase the risk for Axis I psychiatric disorders and suicidality during early adulthood.

Method

Psychosocial and psychiatric interviews were administered to a representative community sample of 717 youths and their mothers from 2 counties in the state of New York in 1975, 1983, 1985-1986, and 1991-1993. Anxiety, disruptive, eating, mood, personality, and substance use disorders and suicidal ideation and behavior were assessed in 1983 and 1985-1986, when the participants were adolescents, and in 1991-1993, when they were young adults.

Results

Adolescents with PDs were more than twice as likely as those without PDs to have anxiety, disruptive, mood, and substance use disorders during early adulthood. These associations remained statistically significant after co-occurring Axis I disorders during adolescence were controlled statistically. Cluster A, B, and C PDs and DSM-IV Appendix B PDs during adolescence were all associated with elevated risk for Axis I disorders during early adulthood after co-occurring Axis I and Axis II disorders during adolescence were controlled statistically. Cluster C PDs during adolescence were associated with elevated risk for suicidal ideation or behavior during early adulthood after co-occurring psychiatric disorders and suicidality during adolescence were controlled statistically.

Conclusions

Adolescents in the community with personality disorders are at elevated risk for major mental disorders and suicidal ideation or behavior during early adulthood. This increase in risk is not accounted for by co-occurring Axis I disorders or suicidality during adolescence.

Conclusions

Arch Gen Psychiatry.1999;56:805-811

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