Characteristics and Predictors of Educational and Occupational Disengagement Among Outpatient Youth With Borderline Personality Disorder

Trees T. Juurlink, Jennifer K. Betts, Katie Nicol, Femke Lamers, Aartjan T. F. Beekman, Sue M. Cotton, Andrew M. Chanen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to investigate predictors of vocational disengagement (referred to as Not in Employment, Education, or Training [NEET]) in young people with borderline personality disorder (BPD). The sample comprised 112 outpatients with a BPD diagnosis, aged 15-25 years, who participated in a randomized controlled trial (ANZCTR12610000100099). The proportion of participants who were NEET (39.3%) at study entry did not improve after 18 months and NEET status frequently changed. Therefore, multinomial regression analyses were used to study three groups: Non-NEET, NEET, and Unstable NEET status. NEET status was predicted by not achieving expected age-appropriate educational milestones, greater instability in identity, and emptiness. Greater instability in interpersonal relationships and identity predicted Unstable NEET status. The findings suggest that specific vocational interventions, that also incorporate a focus on interpersonal functioning, emptiness, and identity disturbance, are needed to improve functioning in youth with BPD, especially when educational milestones are not achieved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-128
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of personality disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022


  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Education
  • Employment
  • NEET
  • Psychiatry
  • Vocational disengagement
  • Vocational functioning
  • Young person
  • Youth

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