Perceived Invalidation in Adolescent Borderline Personality Disorder: An Investigation of Parallel Reports of Caregiver Responses to Negative Emotions

Clair Bennett, Glenn A. Melvin, Jeremy Quek, Naysun Saeedi, Michael S. Gordon, Louise K. Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Childhood experiences of emotional invalidation are commonly reported by adults with borderline personality disorder (BPD). This study aimed to compare perceptions of emotional invalidation between adolescents with and adolescents without BPD, and their primary caregivers. Participants were 51 adolescents subdivided into a clinical group of 26 adolescents with BPD and a community-control group of 25 adolescents, each with their primary caregivers. To examine perceptions of invalidation, adolescents and caregivers completed parallel reports assessing caregiver responses to adolescents’ negative emotions. Adolescents with BPD reported more punitive and less supportive responses to their negative emotions than their caregivers. In the control group, by contrast, differences between caregiver and adolescent reports were due to caregivers rating themselves more harshly than did adolescents. Findings demonstrated that adolescents with BPD perceived their caregivers to be relatively less supportive and more invalidating than did adolescents without BPD. Results highlight the importance of adolescents’ subjective experiences of caregiving to enduring borderline psychopathology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-221
Number of pages13
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • Adolescence
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Parallel reports
  • Parenting
  • Perceived invalidation

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