Are people with BPD childlike

Early risk factors in BPD

Degree title

Early Risk Factors in Borderline Personality Pathology - Follow-up of two longitudinal cohorts to identify risk and resilience factors of borderline symptom expressions in childhood and early adolescence

Project description

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is characterized by impulsive behavior, instability in interpersonal relationships and difficulties in regulating intense emotions. It is only in the last few years that research in the field of personality disorders has also focused on childhood and adolescence and has shown that the first symptoms can be identified very early in child development. To date, however, there are only a few long-term studies that have consistently examined the first signs of BPD during childhood and adolescence in connection with possible predictors from early childhood, such as prenatal stress, the child's temperament and behavioral disorders, and the mother-child relationship . In order to close this research gap, the project relies on the tracking of two normative mother-child cohorts from the Rhein-Neckar district, which were recruited in 2002 and 2008 and from which data on maternal stress levels as well as information on early childhood temperament and Behavior. In the course of the subsequent survey of the previous participants, the BPS symptoms of the children and adolescents should be systematically recorded in a dimensional approach. At the same time, possible correlates and precursor symptoms of BPD, such as behavioral problems, temperament and risky behaviors, are examined and the current quality of mother-child interaction is analyzed. Physiological and endocrinological markers of emotion and stress regulation (heart rate variability, cortisol), which are measured in the context of mother-child interaction, are also of interest here. The aim of the project is to examine the early development pathways of BPS pathology in more detail. This is intended to contribute to the expansion of the development model of BPS, which considers child characteristics and external risk factors in interaction and can offer approaches for early prevention and intervention.

Cooperation partners

  • Prof. Dr. med. Eva Möhler, chief physician at SHG-Klinik Kleinblittersdorf
  • Prof. Dr. phil. Corinna Reck, Head of the Teaching and Research Unit Clinical Psychology of Children and Adolescents, LMU Munich