Borderline personality features in childhood: The role of subtype, developmental timing, and chronicity of child maltreatment

Kathryn F. Hecht, Dante Cicchetti, Fred A. Rogosch, Nicki R. Crick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Child maltreatment has been established as a risk factor for borderline personality disorder (BPD), yet few studies consider how maltreatment influences the development of BPD features through childhood and adolescence. Subtype, developmental timing, and chronicity of child maltreatment were examined as factors in the development of borderline personality features in childhood. Children (M age = 11.30, SD = 0.94), including 314 maltreated and 285 nonmaltreated children from comparable low socioeconomic backgrounds, provided self-reports of developmentally salient borderline personality traits. Maltreated children had higher overall borderline feature scores, had higher scores on each individual subscale, and were more likely to be identified as at high risk for development of BPD through raised scores on all four subscales. Chronicity of maltreatment predicted higher overall borderline feature scores, and patterns of onset and recency of maltreatment significantly predicted whether a participant would meet criteria for the high-risk group. Implications of findings and recommendations for intervention are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)805-815
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopment and psychopathology
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2014

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