Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences

Personal and parents’ life stories in patients with borderline personality disorder

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Patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) display disturbances in understanding self and others. We examined whether these disturbances extended to how patients described their personal and parents’ life stories and to measures of identity, alexithymia, empathy, and emotional intelligence. Thirty BPD patients and 30 matched control participants described personal and parents’ life stories and completed measures of identity disturbance, alexithymia, empathy, and emotional intelligence. Compared to the controls, patients with BPD described their personal and their parents’ life stories more negatively and with fewer themes of agency and communion fulfillment. Patients and controls showed equally complex reasoning about their personal life stories, but patients displayed less complexity and more self‐other confusion, when reasoning about their parents’ stories. Patients also differed from controls on identity disturbance, alexithymia, and empathy. The results suggest that patients’ storied understanding of themselves and others are disturbed and should be taken into account to better understand BPD.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Psychology
Volume60
Issue3
Pages (from-to)231-242
Number of pages12
ISSN0036-5564
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

    Research areas

  • Borderline personality disorder, identity, life stories, self and other understanding, vicarious life stories, POSTTRAUMATIC-STRESS-DISORDER, EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE, INCREMENTAL VALIDITY, SELF, SOCIAL COGNITION, NARRATIVE IDENTITY, AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMORIES, EMPATHY, MEANING-MAKING, PSYCHIATRIC CLASSIFICATION

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