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Choi-Kain, L.W. Ackerman, J. (2009). Selected Posters from the 2009 Poster Session of the American Psychoanalytic Association: Attachment and Cognition in Borderline Personality Disorder. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 57(6):1459-1464.

(2009). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 57(6):1459-1464

Research Section: Poster Summaries

Selected Posters from the 2009 Poster Session of the American Psychoanalytic Association: Attachment and Cognition in Borderline Personality Disorder

Lois W. Choi-Kain and Julie Ackerman

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) has been distinguished by three realms of disturbance: affect regulation, behavioral control, and disturbed relationships. The symptoms related to disturbed relationships in BPD have the greatest diagnostic value, demonstrate significant familiality and heritability, and may represent a major underlying phenotype of the disorder. In the realm of disturbed relationships, BPD has been both theoretically and empirically associated with preoccupied and fearful insecure attachment types. While earlier research has established increased rates of attachment insecurity in BPD samples, the mechanism by which attachment insecurity develops into the syndrome of BPD is not well understood. One theoretical model of BPD proposes that early attachment insecurity interferes with the development of critical social cognitive skills such as mentalization, defined as the capacity to understand one's own mental states and those of others. The neuroscientific literature on BPD suggests that difference in brain structure and function underlie key clinical features of BPD, which raises the question of whether deficits in neuropsychological function are determinants of social cognitive skills and are thereby implicated in the interpersonal disturbances in BPD. This poster will describe the methodology of an APsaA-funded study intended to assess the relationship between attachment status and (1) BPD, (2) attachment, (3) neuropsychological skills, and (4) social cognitive skills. Preliminary results will be presented.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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