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date: 18 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a treatable and perhaps preventable condition, particularly if evidence-based interventions, such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) are implemented earlier in the course of the BPD trajectory. The biosocial theory, which is the etiological premise of DBT, proposes that BPD emerges as a result of high-risk transactions between inherited vulnerabilities (e.g., trait impulsivity) and environmental risk factors. Converging evidence indicates that invalidating and coercive processes, especially within family contexts, confer risk for adult psychopathology. This chapter discusses the invalidating family context as a risk factor for BPD from the framework of the biosocial theory. More specifically, after providing a brief review of the biosocial theory, it reviews emerging empirical work on contributing factors to the emergence of invalidating contexts. It then discusses specific DBT intervention strategies that may be effective at reducing risk for invalidation, and by extension, borderline personality development, among at-risk youth.

Keywords: Dialectical behavior therapy, biosocial theory, borderline personality disorder, borderline personality development, invalidation, trait impulsivity, environmental risk factors, psychopathology

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