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J Pers Disord. 1999 Fall;13(3):268-80.

Borderline Personality Disorder and childhood sexual abuse: a meta-analytic study.

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  • 1Istituto Scientifico Ospedale San Raffaele, Department of Neuropsychiatric Sciences, University of Milan, School of Medicine, Milano, Italy.


A meta-analysis of the published literature was performed to evaluate the common effect size (r) of the association between childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). An online search from 1980 to 1995 was used to gather published papers. r coefficient was used as an effect size measure, and 21 studies were retrieved. A moderate pooled r (.279) for the association between CSA and BPD was observed. Pooled effect size estimates were also obtained for CSA parameters. No significant effect of moderators was evidenced. The results of this study did not support the hypothesis that CSA is a major psychological risk factor or a causal antecedent of BPD.

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