U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Sexual Orientation and Borderline Personality Disorder Features in a Community Sample of Adolescents

NCJ Number
Journal of Personality Disorders Volume: 30 Issue: 5 Dated: 2016 Pages: 694-707
Date Published
14 pages

Since there are higher rates of psychopathology in both sexual minorities and individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD), this study sought to determine whether sexual orientation uniquely contributes to BPD pathology, controlling for other psychopathology.


An ethnically diverse sample of 835 adolescents completed self-report measures of borderline features, depression, anxiety, and sexual orientation. Sexual minorities scored higher on borderline features compared to heterosexual adolescents. When controlling for depression and anxiety, sexual orientation remained significantly associated with borderline features. The relationship between sexual orientation and BPD cannot fully be explained by other psychopathology. Additional research is needed to explain potential mechanisms underlying this relation. (Publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2016