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.
- Borderline personality disorder
- Parallel reports
- Perceived invalidation