How mothers with borderline personality disorder relate to their year old infant

Hobson, R Peter, Patrick, Matthew, Hobson, Jessica A, Crandell, Lisa, Bronfman, Elisa and Lyons-Ruth, Karlen (2009) How mothers with borderline personality disorder relate to their year old infant. British Journal of Psychiatry, 195 (4). pp. 325-330. ISSN 0007-1250

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Background Women with borderline personality disorder have conflictual interpersonal relations that may extend to disrupted patterns of interaction with their infants. Aims To assess how women with borderline personality disorder engage with their 12 to 18-month-old infants in separation–reunion episodes. Method We videotaped mother–infant interactions in separation–reunion episodes of the Strange Situation test. The mothers were women with borderline personality disorder, with depression, or without psychopathological disorder. Masked ratings of maternal behaviour were made with the Atypical Maternal Behavior Instrument for Assessment and Classification. Results As predicted, a higher proportion (85%) of women with borderline personality disorder than women in the comparison groups showed disrupted affective communication with their infants. They were also distinguished by the prevalence of frightened/disoriented behaviour. Conclusions Maternal borderline personality disorder is associated with dysregulated mother–infant communication.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Disabilities & Disorders (mental & physical) > Personality Disorders (e.g. narcissism)
Families > Mother Child Relations
Department/People: Special Units

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