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Am J Psychiatry. 1990 Aug;147(8):1008-13.

Childhood sexual and physical abuse in adult patients with borderline personality disorder.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.


Experiences of abuse and neglect were assessed in 24 adults diagnosed as having borderline personality disorder according to the Diagnostic Interview for Borderline Patients and in 18 depressed control subjects without borderline disorder. Significantly more of the borderline patients than depressed patients reported childhood sexual abuse, abuse by more than one person, and both sexual and physical abuse. There were no between-group differences for rates of neglect or physical abuse without sexual abuse. A stepwise logistic regression revealed that derealization, diagnostic group, and chronic dysphoria were the best predictors of childhood sexual abuse in this group of patients.

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