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Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2011 Dec;65(7):648-54. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1819.2011.02285.x.

Recognition of facial emotion and perceived parental bonding styles in healthy volunteers and personality disorder patients.

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Department of Psychiatry, Second Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China.



Early parental bonding experiences play a role in emotion recognition and expression in later adulthood, and patients with personality disorder frequently experience inappropriate parental bonding styles, therefore the aim of the present study was to explore whether parental bonding style is correlated with recognition of facial emotion in personality disorder patients.


The Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI) and the Matsumoto and Ekman Japanese and Caucasian Facial Expressions of Emotion (JACFEE) photo set tests were carried out in 289 participants.


Patients scored lower on parental Care but higher on parental Freedom Control and Autonomy Denial subscales, and they displayed less accuracy when recognizing contempt, disgust and happiness than the healthy volunteers. In healthy volunteers, maternal Autonomy Denial significantly predicted accuracy when recognizing fear, and maternal Care predicted the accuracy of recognizing sadness. In patients, paternal Care negatively predicted the accuracy of recognizing anger, paternal Freedom Control predicted the perceived intensity of contempt, maternal Care predicted the accuracy of recognizing sadness, and the intensity of disgust.


Parenting bonding styles have an impact on the decoding process and sensitivity when recognizing facial emotions, especially in personality disorder patients.

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