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Psychiatry Res. 2009 Feb 28;165(3):281-7. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2007.10.017. Epub 2009 Jan 21.

Childhood maltreatment and adult personality disorder symptoms: influence of maltreatment type.

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Mood Disorders Research Program and Laboratory for Clinical Neuroscience, Butler Hospital, Providence, RI 02906, USA.


The present study examines the effects of different types of childhood maltreatment on personality disorder symptoms in a sample of adults with no Axis I psychopathology. Participants reporting a history of moderate to severe maltreatment on the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (n = 70) were grouped by type of abuse and compared with a non-abused group (n = 35) with regard to the number of personality disorder symptoms endorsed. Physical/sexual abuse and emotional abuse/neglect each were associated with elevated symptoms of all three personality disorder clusters. Elevated symptoms of several specific personality disorders were also seen, including paranoid, borderline, avoidant, dependent, obsessive-compulsive, and depressive personality disorder. There were no significant differences between the maltreatment groups. These findings indicate that emotional abuse/neglect and physical/sexual abuse are risk factors for a broad array of personality outcomes in a non-clinical sample.

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