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07-08-2019 | Uitgave 1/2020

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 1/2020

Parent Emotion Socialization and Child Emotional Vulnerability as Predictors of Borderline Personality Features

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology > Uitgave 1/2020
Auteurs:
Katherine L. Dixon-Gordon, Nicholas P. Marsh, Kayla E. Balda, Julia D. McQuade
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Abstract

Although parent emotion socialization and child temperament are theorized to interact in the prediction of borderline personality disorder (BPD) features, few studies have directly examined these relationships. The present study examined whether parental emotion socialization interacted with behavioral ratings and physiological indicators of emotional vulnerability in the prediction of BPD features among preadolescent children. Participants were 125 children (10–12 years; 55% female) and their parents recruited from the community. Parents and children reported on children’s BPD features and parents completed a measure of supportive and non-supportive emotion socialization. Children’s emotional vulnerability was assessed based on parent-rated negativity/lability and emotion regulation skills and children’s respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) and skin conductance level (SCL) reactivity to a social stressor. Several significant interactions of parent supportive reactions, non-supportive reactions, and child emotional reactivity emerged. Children were lowest in BPD features when parents were high in supportive reactions and/or low in non-supportive reactions and the child was low in emotional vulnerability (e.g., low negativity/lability, good emotion regulation skills, or low SCL reactivity to stress). These findings suggest that specific emotion socialization factors in interaction with children’s emotional reactivity may predict risk for BPD features in preadolescence. Future research is needed to replicate these findings and examine whether this interaction prospectively predicts trajectories of BPD features.

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