Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Psy.D. Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Academic Discipline

Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Christina D. Brown, Psy.D.

Second Advisor

Kathie Bates, Ph.D.


Borderline personality disorder is diagnosed in women three times more than men and represents a significant gender disparity amid considerable stigmatization compared to other psychological disorders. Empirical studies have investigated the gender prevalence for borderline personality disorder and further determined that findings may be due to differences in how borderline personality disorder clinically manifests in men and women. Common areas of investigation have included developmental features, diagnostic symptomology, psychiatric comorbidities, and the level of functional impairment for individuals with borderline personality disorder. An analysis of existing data was indicative of shortcomings in methods that include small samples of men, a lack of representative samples from non-clinical populations, differences in measurement and assessment, variations in reporting, and more. Research suggests that while some gender differences exist for borderline personality disorder, there are likely more similarities than differences in the clinical presentation of this disorder. Differences found may be due to bias and stereotypical differences between men and women, such as the tendency for men to engage in externalizing behaviors and for women to engage in internalizing behaviors. Conclusions from a critical review of research may indicate why the disorder is more commonly diagnosed in women, and further, may help to accurately understand the development, assessment, and treatment of borderline personality disorder.