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Fossati, A. Feeney, J. Maffei, C. Borroni, S. (2014). Thinking about Feelings: Affective State Mentalization, Attachment Styles, and Borderline Personality Disorder Features Among Italian Nonclinical Adolescents. Psychoanal. Psychol., 31(1):41-67.

(2014). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 31(1):41-67

Thinking about Feelings: Affective State Mentalization, Attachment Styles, and Borderline Personality Disorder Features Among Italian Nonclinical Adolescents

Andrea Fossati, M.D., Ph.D., Judith Feeney, Ph.D., Cesare Maffei, M.D., Ph.D. and Serena Borroni, Ph.D.

In order to Test Fonagy's (Fonagy & Bateman, 2008) hypotheses on the relationships among borderline personality disorder (BPD), mentalization, and attachment, nonclinical adolescents were assigned to a high-BPD group (n = 29), an average-BPD group (n = 31) and a low-BPD group (n = 29). Participants in the three groups were administered the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test (RET), the Lack of Emotional Clarity Scale from the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale, and the Attachment Style Questionnaire (ASQ). High-BPD adolescents scored significantly lower than low-BPD adolescents on the RET (d = −0.66), and significantly higher than both other groups on the DERS LEC. When the effect of the ASQ scales was controlled for, the high-BPD group did not show any significant difference from the other groups on mentalization measures. These findings were consistent with Fonagy's (Fonagy & Bateman, 2008) model of BPD.

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