Sexual orientation and borderline personality disorder features in a community sample of adolescents

Tyson R. Reuter, Carla Sharp, Allison H. Kalpakci, Hye J. Choi, Jeff R. Temple

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Empirical literature demonstrates that sexual minorities are at an increased risk of developing psychopathology, including borderline personality disorder (BPD). The specific link between sexual orientation and BPD has received significantly less attention in youth, and it remains unclear what drives this relation. Given that there are higher rates of psychopathology in both sexual minorities and individuals with BPD, the present study aimed to determine if sexual orientation uniquely contributes to borderline personality 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 relation between sexual orientation and BPD cannot fully be explained by other psychopathology. Future research is necessary to understand potential mechanisms underlying this relation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)694-707
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Personality Disorders
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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