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Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00605

Psychometric Properties of the Chinese Version of the Brief Borderline Symptom List in Undergraduate Students and Clinical Patients

Huihui Yang1, Xiaoxia Lei1,  Mingtian Zhong2, Qi Zhou3, Yu Ling4,  Martin Jungkunz5, 6 and  Jinyao Yi1, 7*
  • 1Medical Psychological Institute, Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, China
  • 2Center for Studies of Psychological Application, School of Psychology, South China Normal University, China
  • 3Department of Business Administration, School of Business, Sun Yat-sen University, China
  • 4Education Institute, Hunan Agricultural University, China
  • 5Central Institute of Mental Health, Clinic of Psychosomatic and Psychotherapeutic Medicine, Medizinische Fakultät Mannheim, Universität Heidelberg, Germany
  • 6Central Institute of Mental Health, Institute for Psychiatric and Psychosomatic Psychotherapy (IPPP)/Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Medizinische Fakultät Mannheim, Universität Heidelberg, Germany
  • 7Medical Psychological Institute, Central South University, China

The brief version of the Borderline Symptom List (BSL-23) is a self-rated scale developed from the initial 95-item version of Borderline Symptom List (BSL-95). The current study aimed to evaluate the psychometric properties of the Chinese version of the BSL-23. A total of 570 undergraduate students and 323 clinical patients completed the BSL-23, the borderline subscale of the Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire (PDQ-4+), the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), the Barrat Impulsiveness Scale, 11th version (BIS-11), the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) and the Attachment Style Questionnaire (ASQ). A Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) was conducted to test the one-factor structure of the BSL-23. Cronbach’s alpha, Omega coefficient, Split-Half coefficient, Mean Inter-Item Correlation (MIC) and test-retest reliability were also measured. The correlations between the BSL-23 and other psychological variables were used to assess criterion-related validity and convergent validity. Participants who scored ≥ 5 on the borderline subscale of the PDQ-4+ were placed into the borderline personality disorder (BPD) screening-positive group, while the others were placed into the screening-negative group. Independent sample t-tests were performed to examine the differences in BSL-23 scores between the BPD screening-positive group and the BPD screening-negative group. The CFA results supported the one-factor structure of the BSL-23 in both samples. The internal consistency was high both in the undergraduate sample (Cronbach’s α = 0.93, Omega = 0.95, Split-Half coefficient = 0.89, MIC = 0.38) and the clinical sample (Cronbach’s α = 0.97, Omega = 0.97, Split-Half coefficient = 0.96, MIC = 0.56). The test-retest reliability within two weeks was 0.62. The BSL-23 displayed moderate to high correlations with the PDQ-4+-Borderline subscale, the CES-D, the BIS-11, the CTQ and the ASQ (r = 0.35 - 0.70). In addition, the BSL-23 discriminated between the BPD screening-positive and the BPD screening-negative participants, and also between the patient sample and undergraduate sample. In conclusion, the Chinese version of the BSL-23 has satisfactory psychometric properties to assess BPD symptoms.

Keywords: Borderline Personality Disorder, Borderline Symptom List, factor structure, Reliability, validity

Received: 16 Jan 2018; Accepted: 10 Apr 2018.

Edited by:

Sergio Machado, Salgado de Oliveira University, Brazil

Reviewed by:

Claudio Imperatori, Università Europea di Roma, Italy
Juan Jose F. Muñoz, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Spain  

Copyright: © 2018 Yang, Lei, Zhong, Zhou, Ling, Jungkunz and Yi. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: MD, PhD. Jinyao Yi, Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Medical Psychological Institute, Changsha, China,