Early maternal separation and the trajectory of borderline personality disorder symptoms.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Extended maternal separations before age 5 were evaluated as a predictor of long-term risk for offspring borderline personality disorder (BPD) symptoms in longitudinal data from a large random community sample. Early separations from mother predicted elevations in BPD symptoms assessed repeatedly from early adolescence to middle adulthood. Early separations also predicted a slower than normal rate of decline in symptoms with age. Other theoretically grounded risks were examined and shown to predict elevated BPD symptoms over the developmental trajectory. Long-term effects of early separations were largely independent of childhood temperament, child abuse, maternal problems, and parenting risks. These data provide the first prospectively collected data on the developmental course of BPD symptoms and suggest a series of environmental and other influences on these very disabling problems.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Crawford, TN; Cohen, PR; Chen, H; Anglin, DM; Ehrensaft, M

Published Date

  • 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 21 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 1013 - 1030

PubMed ID

  • 19583895

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1469-2198

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1017/S0954579409000546


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States