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Pine, F. (1974). On the Concept "Borderline" in Children—A Clinical Essay. Psychoanal. St. Child, 29:341-368.

(1974). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 29:341-368

On the Concept "Borderline" in Children—A Clinical Essay

Fred Pine, Ph.D.

THE DIAGNOSTIC TERM "BORDERLINE" IS A SPATIAL METAPHOR. IT is intended to convey something about the status of certain relatively severely disturbed children who lie "between" psychosis on the one hand and neurosis or milder forms of pathology on the other. It is a hazy area, but a few things can be said about the nature of the borders surrounding this domain; and a good deal can be said about the internal borders within this domain, about distinctions among the children who can be characterized in this way.

This paper sets out to pursue these two tasks: to discuss the attributes that differentiate this set of children from those with other forms of pathology which, in general, we see as either milder or more severe and, in so doing, to define some aspects of the borders "between" these children and the less and more disturbed; and, secondly, to describe a variety of syndromes found in such children, in so doing delineating borders "within" the domain of the borderline.

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