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Development and first results of the Borderline Personality Inventory: a self-report instrument for assessing borderline personality organization

Author(s): Leichsenring F

Abstract

This article reports the development of a short 53-item true-false self-report instrument, the Borderline Personality Inventory (BPI). The BPI is based on Kernberg's (1984) concept of borderline personality organization. However, the diagnostic criteria are compatible with both the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) and Gunderson's (Gunderson & Kolb, 1978) concept of borderline personality disorder (BPD). The BPI contains scales for assessing identity diffusion, primitive defense mechanisms, and reality testing. Another scale refers to the fear of closeness. The construction of the scales is based on the results of a factor analysis. As a result of several studies, a cutoff score is proposed to make the diagnosis of a BPD. Thus, the BPI combines dimensional and categorical models of BPD. The BPI was tested in several studies. According to the results, internal consistency and retest reliability are satisfactory (Cronbach's α = .68-.91, rtt = .73-.89). Results for sensitivity are .85 to .89, and results for specificity .78 to .89. The BPI identifies borderline patients in high agreement with Kernberg's criteria of borderline personality organization, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (3rd ed., rev.; American Psychiatric Association, 1987) criteria of BPD and Gunderson's criteria of BPD. The BPI is recommended as a screening instrument for borderline personality organization and BPD and for dimensional research of borderline features in Axis I and Axis II disorders.

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