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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 56 (2014) 5, 319 - 325

Review article

The prevalence, burden, structure and treatment of personality disorders in adolescents

D.J. Feenstra, J. Hutsebaut

background Clinicians seem hesitant about diagnosing personality disorders in adolescents. Furthermore, little is known about the assessment and treatment of adolescents with personality disorders.
aim To investigate the prevalence, burden, structure, and treatability of personality disorders in adolescents. method 257 adolescents, referred to De Viersprong (the Dutch national centre for personality disorders), were tested on different variables. 133 of them were admitted to the inpatient psychotherapy unit for adolescents and were followed for a period of one year after treatment.
results Personality disorders were frequently present in the referred adolescents. The burden of disease was high. The structure of the core components underlying personality pathology in adolescents was similar to the structure found in adults. Adolescents with a cluster C personality disorder profited most from the inpatient treatment.
conclusion There appear to be more similarities than differences between personality disorders in adolescents and adults. It seems important to assess personality pathology in referred adolescents so that the most suitable treatment can be provided.

keywords adolescents, assessment, inpatient treatment, personality disorders