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Mentalizing Based on External Features in Borderline Personality Disorder Compared With Healthy Controls: The Role of Attachment Dimensions and Childhood Trauma

Van Heel, M; Luyten, P; De Meulemeester, C; Vanwalleghem, D; Vermote, R; Lowyck, B; (2019) Mentalizing Based on External Features in Borderline Personality Disorder Compared With Healthy Controls: The Role of Attachment Dimensions and Childhood Trauma. Journal of Personality Disorders 10.1521/pedi_2019_33_373. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Extant research suggests that borderline personality disorder (BPD) is associated with impairments in mentalizing, that is, comprehending behavior in terms of underlying mental states. However, the precise nature of these impairments remains unclear. The literature is mixed concerning mentalizing based on external features of others, and specifically facial emotion recognition (FER) in BPD patients. This study investigated FER differences in 79 BPD patients and 79 matched healthy controls using the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test (RMET). The authors also investigated attachment dimensions and childhood trauma in relation to mentalizing based on external features. Results showed that BPD patients performed worse on positive and negative emotions. Furthermore, avoidant attachment was negatively related to FER for neutral emotions, particularly in the control group. Trauma was negatively related to FER at trend level, particularly in BPD patients. The implications for this understanding of mentalizing based on external features in BPD are discussed.

Type: Article
Title: Mentalizing Based on External Features in Borderline Personality Disorder Compared With Healthy Controls: The Role of Attachment Dimensions and Childhood Trauma
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1521/pedi_2019_33_373
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1521/pedi_2019_33_373
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: RMET, attachment, borderline personality disorder, facial emotion recognition, mentalizing
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10066850
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