Practitioner Review: Borderline personality disorder in adolescence – recent conceptualization, intervention, and implications for clinical practice

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The past decade has seen an unprecedented increase in research activity on personality disorders (PDs) in adolescents. The increase in research activity, in addition to major nosological systems legitimizing the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD) in adolescents, highlights the need to communicate new research on adolescent personality problems to practitioners.


In this review, we provide up-to-date information on the phenomenology, prevalence, associated clinical problems, etiology, and intervention for BPD in adolescents. Our aim was to provide a clinically useful practitioner review and to dispel long-held myths about the validity, diagnostic utility, and treatability of PDs in adolescents.

Findings and conclusion:

Alongside providing up-to-date information on the phenomenology, prevalence, and etiology, we also report on associated clinical problems and interventions for adolescent BPD. It is only through early active assessment and identification of youngsters with these problems that a lifetime of personal suffering and health system burden can be reduced or altogether avoided. A variety of evidence-based approaches are now available to treat BPD and related clinical problems in young people. Future research should focus on establishing optimal precision in the diagnostic processes in different treatment settings.

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