Discriminating Borderline from Antisocial Personality Disorder in Male Patients based on Psychopathology Patterns and Type of Hostility


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Abstract

Dimensions of psychopathology and patterns of hostility, as well as the relationship of hostility to psychopathology, were studied in 85 male young adults: 41 with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and 44 with antisocial personality disorder (APD). Diagnoses were based on DSM-III. The following instruments were also used: Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, Hamilton Depression Rating scale, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and Hostility and Direction of Hostility Questionnaire. BPD patients compared with APD patients showed higher levels of overall psychopathology and depression, whereas both groups had equally high anxiety. Total hostility was quite high in both groups. However, BPD patients had more introverted hostility and APD patients had more extroverted hostility. In BPD patients, introverted hostility was related to overall psychopathology, depression, and trait anxiety, whereas in APD patients, no significant relationship of any type of hostility to various dimensions of psychopathology was observed. In conclusion, when comprehensively assessed, BPD patients can be discriminated from APD patients based on certain dimensions of psychopathology and differences in the direction of their hostility. Moreover, the relationship between psychopathology and hostility patterns suggests that the direction of patients' hostility plays an important role in the development of disorder-specific symptomatology.

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