Developmental precipitants of borderline personality disorder

Abigail A Baird, Heather B Veague, C Elizabeth Rabbitt
Development and Psychopathology 2005, 17 (4): 1031-49
Traditional theories regarding the etiology of borderline personality disorder have focused on poor attachment figures and/or traumatic experience. The present review posits an additional pathogenic course for this disorder. Specifically, the proposed mechanism involves a basic disruption of the neural hardware that supports the formation and maintenance of unconscious emotional memory, hardware essential for the formation of early attachments. It is further theorized that this early disruption has ongoing effects on both behavioral and concomitant neural development. Within this model, adolescence is described as a period of intense change that serves as the tipping point for the onset of borderline personality disorder.

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