Distinguishing Complex PTSD from Borderline Personality Disorder among individuals with a history of sexual trauma; a latent class analysis

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There has been debate regarding whether Complex PTSD (CPTSD) is conceptually distinct from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).
To assess whether ICD-11 CPTSD was distinguishable from BPD in a sample of sexual assault survivors.
A subsample of individuals (n = 956), that selected sexual assault as an index trauma, were selected from a U.S. general population survey dataset. The distribution of PTSD, CPTSD and BPD symptomology was evaluated using latent class analysis (LCA). Multinomial logistic regression analyses were performed to evaluate whether various forms of child maltreatment and cumulative child maltreatment could discriminate between classes.
CPTSD emerged as a distinct symptom profile within the sample. Conversely, BPD symptomology was evident in two classes but was accompanied by PTSD/CPTSD symptomology in each. Overall, five classes were identified that differed both quantitatively and qualitatively. Cumulative childhood maltreatment and physical neglect predicted CPTSD class membership.
The findings suggest that CPTSD is distinct from BPD among a sample of individuals who have been shown to be at significant risk for both diagnoses. Further research is required to identify factors that distinguish CPTSD from BPD
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Truama and Dissociation
Early online date31 Aug 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Aug 2018



  • Post traumatic stress
  • complex post traumatic stress
  • ICD-11
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • sexual assault

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