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January 1980

The Families of Borderlines: A Comparative Study

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston (Dr Gunderson), McLean Hospital, Belmont, Mass (Dr Gunderson and Englund), and the Department of Psychology, New York University (Kerr).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1980;37(1):27-33. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1980.01780140029003

• The families of 12 carefully diagnosed patients with borderline personality disorder are compared with the families of both paranoid schizophrenic patients and patients with neurotic personality disorders. The families of the borderline patients were distinguished by the rigid tightness of the marital bond to the exclusion of the attention, support, or protection of the children. This pattern of neglect conforms to one theme in the clinical literature, and its implications for understanding and treating borderline patients are discussed. Limitations in the research methodology make the conclusions from this study tentative, but the results suggest new areas in need of research attention.

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