Possible antecedents of DSM-III-R personality disorders

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In order to extend our knowledge of the effects of environmental influences upon personality disorder (PD) pathology, childhood traumatic events and parental bonding were studied in 90 PD in-patients of both sexes. Childhood traumatic experiences (primarily physical and/or sexual abuse) and parental bonding dimensions were correlated with PD pathology depending on PD type and cluster. Important differences were found between the sexes. The quality of the paternal relationship (high control, low care) was significantly associated with PD pathology in men, whereas childhood traumatic experiences and the quality of maternal parenting were associated with PD pathology in women. The study of traumatic events such as childhood abuse has recently been the focus of considerable attention. More emphasis in empirical research needs to be given to parental relationships, especially in the case of men.

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