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Using a Sibling Design to Compare Childhood Adversities in Female Patients With BPD and Their Sisters

NCJ Number
Child Maltreatment Volume: 17 Issue: 4 Dated: November 2012 Pages: 318-329
Lise Laporte; Joel Paris; Herta Guttman; Jennifer Russell; Jose A. Correa
Date Published
November 2012
12 pages
This study examined borderline personality disorder (BPD) among female siblings.
Abuse and neglect are well-established risk correlates of borderline personality disorder (BPD). The goal of this study was to examine whether BPD probands can be differentiated from their sisters with respect to a range of developmental adversity and maltreatment indicators, including retrospective self-reports of past experiences of childhood abuse and neglect, dysfunctional parent-child relationships and peer victimization and dysfunctional peer relationships. A total of 53 patients with BPD were compared to 53 sisters who were currently free of psychopathology on measures assessing childhood adversities. Both probands and sisters reported similar prevalence of intrafamilial abuse, although BPD patients reported more severe physical and emotional abuse. BPD patients reported higher prevalence of physical abuse by peers. These findings generally support the principle of multi-finality, in which similar histories of adversities can be associated with a variety of outcomes, ranging from psychopathology to resilience. Abstract published by arrangement with Sage Journals.