Borderline personality disorder (BPD) typically has an onset in adolescence. Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) could be associated with its subsequent development. The aim of this study was to examine whether NSSI among adolescents in the community is associated with a risk for BPD in emerging adulthood. Sixty-nine adolescents (11–13 years old) with a history of NSSI and 61 matched controls were assessed for NSSI and then reassessed between ages 18 to 20 years. Findings showed that continuation of NSSI over time was associated with higher ratings of BPD symptomatology and greater impairment in psychosocial functioning. Both of these relations were mediated by deficits in emotion regulation. These results suggest that adolescents who engage in NSSI may need to be assessed for problems regulating emotions and to be provided with early interventions to help prevent continuation of NSSI.
- Borderline personality disorder
- Emerging adulthood
- Emotion regulation
- Nonsuicidal self-injury