Assessing Inter-Model Continuity Between the Section II and Section III Conceptualizations of Borderline Personality Disorder in DSM–5

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DSM–5 includes 2 competing models of borderline personality disorder (BPD) in Sections II and III. Empirical comparisons between these models are required to understand and improve intermodel continuity. We compared Section III BPD traits to Section II BPD criteria assessed via semistructured interviews in 455 current/recent psychiatric patients using correlation and regression analyses, and also evaluated the incremental predictive power of other Section III traits. In addition, we tested the hypothesis that self-harm would incrementally predict BPD Criterion 5 over the Section III traits. Results supported Section III BPD traits as an adequate representation of traditional BPD symptomatology, although modifications that would increase intermodel continuity were identified. Finally, we found support for the incremental validity of suspiciousness, anhedonia, perceptual dysregulation, and self-harm, suggesting possible gaps in the Section III PD trait definitions.

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