According to contemporary phenomenological literature, dysphoria is the background mood characterizing patients with borderline personality disorders (BPD). In particular circumstances, it can take the form of a state of pressure, urge to act, and quasi-explosion, which is very dependent on situational triggers. There are currently no instruments able to measure this situational form of dysphoria.
To develop and analyze psychometric properties of the Situational Dysphoria Scale (SITDS), a self-report questionnaire that measures situational dysphoria.
To validate the SITDS for a future use in routine clinical practice and, more generally, to assess different forms of dysphoria in BPD in a more precise way.
The preliminary 58-item SITDS was administered to 105 BPD patients, along with other conceptually similar (Nepean Dysphoria Scale) and conceptually distinct (Cynical Distrust Scale, Inventory of Interpersonal Problems-47, empathy quotient, and borderline personality severity Index-IV) instruments. The psychometric characteristics (reliability, internal structure, convergent and divergent validity) of the SITDS were then examined.
The final 24-item SITDS (with each item rated on three subscales: internal pressure, urge to act, and quasi-explosion) demonstrated excellent internal consistency (alpha = .91). A three-cluster solution was found, with clusters pertaining to personal events, interpersonal events, and environmental events. There were medium to strong correlations with NDS, and weaker but still significant correlations with CynDis, IIP-47, EQ, and BPDSI-IV.
The SITDS is a useful and easy-to-handle instrument for measuring situational dysphoria. Further research in clinical samples is needed.
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.