Attachment and its vicissitudes in borderline personality disorder

Kenneth N. Levy, Joseph E. Beeney, Christina M. Temes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


This article reviews the recent literature on attachment and attachment-related constructs in borderline personality disorder, with attention given to how recent findings in this area may inform understanding of the mechanisms underlying the etiology, maintenance, and treatment of the disorder. Most findings on this topic have stemmed from three major areas of research, each of which is reviewed in this article: 1) developmental psychopathology studies; 2) experimental psychopathology studies, particularly those using a neuroscience approach; and 3) treatment studies that have examined variables relevant to attachment. Overall, these findings suggest that attachment and related constructs may factor greatly into the underlying psychopathology of borderline personality disorder and may significantly impact the process and outcome of psychotherapy for the disorder. These findings are discussed as they relate to existing theories and ongoing debates in the field, and the implications for future research and clinical practice are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-59
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent psychiatry reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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