Specifying the impulsivity of female inmates with borderline personality disorder

Nicole M Hochhausen, Amanda R Lorenz, Joseph P Newman
Journal of Abnormal Psychology 2002, 111 (3): 495-501
Impulsivity is regarded as a core feature of borderline personality disorder (BPD; M. C. Zanarini, J. G. Gunderson, & F. R. Frankenburg, 1989) despite lack of evidence from laboratory research (D. M. Dougherty, J. M Bjork, H. C. G. Huckabee, F. G. Moeller, & A. C. Swann, 1999). This study examined impulsivity in incarcerated women with BPD using a passive avoidance task (J. P. Newman & W. A. Schmitt, 1998) and the Impulsiveness-Monotony Avoidance-Detachment inventory (IMD; D. Schalling, 1978). As predicted, incarcerated women diagnosed with BPD committed more passive avoidance errors and reported more impulsivity on the IMD than controls. These findings identify disinhibition as a potentially important component of the impulsivity that characterizes BPD. Specifying the impulsive behavior identified with BPD may contribute to the effective assessment and management of the disorder.


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