Taxometric analysis of borderline personality disorder
Seals, Kari Lynn
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Controversy persists regarding the dimensional or categorical nature of personality disorders. The distinctness of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) as a discrete mental disorder has been questioned. In this study I investigated the latent structure of the DSM-IV BPD criteria using the MAXCOV-HITMAX (Meehl, 1973; Meehl & Golden, 1982) taxometric procedure. I performed MAXCOV on questionnaires measuring BPD as represented in the SCID II Screening Questionnaire (First et al., 1997) and Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) – Borderline Subscale (Morey, 1991). I examined the concepts of handedness and worry to assess the validity of MAXCOV in detecting known categorical (handedness) and dimensional (worry) constructs. The graph of Handedness Questionnaire (Oldfield, 1971) items clearly revealed latent taxon. A graph of the Worry Domains Questionnaire (Tallis, Eysenck, & Mathews, 1992) items revealed a latent dimension. The results of the BPD graphs were equivocal, but generally supported the existence of a low base rate taxon.