The Relation Between Borderline Personality Disorder Features and Teen Dating Violence

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Teen dating violence (TDV) is a serious social problem with significant physical and emotional consequences. A number of theoretical models have identified several factors associated with intimate partner violence (IPV) among adults, including the role of Axis II features such as borderline personality disorder (BPD). However, little is known about borderline features and intimate partner violence among adolescents (i.e., TDV). The present study is the first to investigate the relation between TDV and borderline features in adolescents, taking into account important additional correlates of TDV at the cross-sectional level.


An ethnically diverse sample of 778 adolescents completed self-report measures of dating violence, borderline features, alcohol use, and exposure to interparental violence.


Borderline features made independent contributions to both TDV victimization and perpetration. The association between borderline features and TDV victimization was moderated by gender, and when considering severe violence, gender moderated the relation between borderline features and both TDV victimization and perpetration.


Borderline features should be considered in the assessment, prevention, and intervention of TDV and vice versa.

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