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Borderline disorders of childhood: an overview.

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Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, PA.


This selected review considers children classified as "borderline" and focuses on two broad categories: Borderline personality disorder/borderline spectrum and schizotypal personality disorder/autism/schizophrenia spectrum classifications. Clinical descriptions, biological correlated, delimitation from other disorders, outcome, family studies, hypothesized etiologies, therapeutic considerations, and response to treatment are presented for each. Data support the subclassification of the heterogeneous groupings of borderline children into at least the two categories, and their differentiation from each other and from other clinical disorders in the population. Overlap across the borderline categories exists for individual children. The nature and shortcomings of relevant studies are described, the need for scientifically based research championed, and a differential approach to directive treatment of borderline children advocated. Further subclassification of borderline disorders should result in more cost-effective diagnosis and treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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