A comparison of life events in adolescents with major depression, borderline personality disorder and matched controls: A pilot study

Netta Horesh, Sharon Ratner, Nathaniel Laor, Paz Toren*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The study assessed the prevalence of life events (LE) in adolescents with major depressive disorder (MDD, n = 19), borderline personality disorder (BPD, n = 20) and matched controls (n = 20). Methods: Assessment measures included: the Child Suicide Potential Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory, the Life Events Checklist, the Childhood Sexual Abuse Questionnaire and the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. Results: The percentage of negative lifetime LE was significantly higher in both MDD and BPD groups than in the control group, while the opposite was true for the percentage of positive LE. No difference was detected between the groups in the number of negative LE in the year preceding their admission. The MDD group reported more death-related LE than the control group, while the BPD group reported more sexual abuse LE than the control and MDD groups. Conclusions: The present study is a cross-sectional study, and therefore, we cannot draw definite conclusions regarding causality. Yet, the significance of negative LE as contributors to and of positive LE as protective factors against the development of nonsuicidal psychopathology is suggested. Further, the possible association between death of a first-degree relative and MDD and between sexual abuse occurring in early childhood and BPD is raised.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-306
Number of pages7
JournalPsychopathology
Volume41
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2008

Keywords

  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Life events
  • Major depression

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