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Psychiatry. 1997 Summer;60(2):171-81.

Biparental psychopathology and borderline personality disorder.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Cornell University Medical College, White Plains, NY 10605, USA.


The pathology of parents is thought to be associated with the emergence of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) among offspring by both genetic and environmental pathways (Links and Blum 1990). In an effort toward clearer delineation, not only reliable diagnoses of patients, but also direct study of families, are recommended (Gunderson 1990; Gunderson and Zanarini 1989; Links and Blum 1990; Ogata et al. 1990; Zanarini et al. 1990). With this in mind, we conducted a pilot, retrospective study of parental psychiatric status, developmental events, and family climate during the developmental years of 30 young women hospitalized for BPD, to be reported here. In studying these three dimensions of family life, we hoped to shed light on environmental underpinings (Gunderson 1990; Gunderson and Zanarini 1989; Links 1992; Rutter and Quinton 1984). Even though our cohort is small and select, and the data on a comparison group not yet available, our research approach holds promise of yielding fresh insights.

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