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Clin Psychol Rev. 2005 Sep;25(6):790-812.

Impulsivity as a common process across borderline personality and substance use disorders.

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Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.


Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a significant public health problem characterized by persistent problems with emotional, behavioral, cognitive, and interpersonal functioning. Research indicates an especially high rate of comorbidity between BPD and Substance Use Disorders (SUD). In trying to better understand, and therefore improve the assessment, prevention, and treatment of these disorders, researchers have considered the role of impulsivity. Indeed, impulsivity consistently has been shown to be a biologically-based, heritable characteristic with emergent psychological properties linked to the development and maintenance of BPD and SUD. Following from a previous review of the comorbidity between BPD and SUD (Trull, T. J., Sher, K. J., Minks-Brown, C., Durbin, J., & Burr, R. (2000). Borderline personality disorder and substance use disorders: A review and integration. Clinical Psychology Review, 20, 235-253), the current manuscript revisits the role of impulsivity as a common process across these disorders with a specific focus on the multidimensional nature of impulsivity and its interaction with trait and state negative affectivity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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