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F1000Res. 2016 Nov 30;5:2796. eCollection 2016.

Biting the hand that feeds: current opinion on the interpersonal causes, correlates, and consequences of borderline personality disorder.

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Department of Psychology, University of Utah, 380 South 1530 East, Room 502, Salt Lake City, UT, 84112, USA.


Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a complex psychiatric diagnosis characterized by dysregulated behaviors, emotions, cognitions, and interpersonal relationships. In recent years, developmental psychopathologists have sought to identify early origins of BPD, with the ultimate goal of developing and providing effective preventative interventions for those at highest risk. In addition to heritable biological sensitivities, many scholars assert that environmental and interpersonal risk factors contribute to the emergence and maintenance of key borderline traits. Nonetheless, many BPD researchers examine only affected individuals, neglecting the family, peer, couple, and other dynamic contextual forces that impinge upon individual-level behavior. In the past decade, however, theoretical and empirical research has increasingly explored the interpersonal causes, correlates, and consequences of BPD. Such work has resulted in novel research and clinical theories intended to better understand and improve interpersonal dynamics among those with borderline traits. A major objective for the field is to better characterize how interpersonal dynamics affect (and are affected by) the behaviors, emotions, and thoughts of vulnerable individuals to either reduce or heighten risk for BPD.


BPD; Borderline personality disorder; interpersonal causes; personality disorders

Conflict of interest statement

The author declares that she has no competing interests. No competing interests were disclosed. No competing interests were disclosed.

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