Borderline personality pathology typically onsets during adolescence. An important consideration in understanding adolescent psychopathology is pubertal development. Perceived pubertal timing is one facet of puberty that is especially relevant to adolescent psychopathology, especially when timing is perceived to be early. Despite links between early pubertal timing and core features of borderline personality disorder, and between early pubertal timing and disruptions in the interpersonal context, perceived pubertal timing has yet to be studied in relation to adolescent borderline pathology. This preliminary study aimed to test the association between perceived pubertal timing and borderline symptoms in adolescent girls, controlling for internalizing and externalizing pathology. Forty-two female adolescent inpatients (ages 12–15, Mage = 14.02, 81% White) completed measures of perceived pubertal development and borderline symptoms and a diagnostic interview. Results indicated that earlier perceived pubertal timing was uniquely associated with higher borderline symptoms even when internalizing and externalizing disorders were covaried.
Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic – Guilford Press
Published: Jun 1, 2018
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