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Compr Psychiatry. 1996 Jan-Feb;37(1):43-51.

Family relationships of adults with borderline personality disorder.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Tennessee, Memphis 38105, USA.


Current, ongoing interactions between adults exhibiting borderline personality disorder (BPD) traits and their families of origin may influence and maintain self-destructive behavior. Family interactions in such patients are often characterized by coexisting extremes of overinvolvement and underinvolvement by parental figures. Such parental behavior may trigger preexisting role relationship schemata in vulnerable individuals. Negative family reactions to new behavior patterns may make change difficult. A model for how present-day interpersonal patterns lead to self-destructive behavior, based on clinical observations, is proposed and case examples are presented.

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