Schema modes and dissociation in borderline personality disorder/traits in adolescents or young adults

Hoda Barazandeh, David W. Kissane, Naysun Saeedi, Michael Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Dramatic mental shifts in young patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) can be understood to occur via dissociative processes found in immature schema modes. A schema mode is an organized pattern of thought, affect and behaviour based on a set of core beliefs. These maladaptive modes are not integrated into a united personality structure and can function in a dissociated form. The aim of this study was to empirically assess the relationship between dysfunctional schema modes and dissociation in BPD. Forty-two young patients with BPD confirmed by the structured clinical interview for DSM-IV Axis-II personality disorders (SCID-II) were further assessed by the Psychiatric Diagnostic Screening Questionnaire (PDSQ), DSM-IV/ICD-10 Personality Questionnaire (DIP-Q), Schema Mode Inventory (SMI) and Wessex Dissociation Scale (WDS). Pearson correlations assessed associations and stepwise regression explored the extent of these associations. The strongest correlations were found between dissociation and the following modes: Detached Protector, Angry Child, Impulsive Child, Punitive Parent, Demanding Parent, and Vulnerable Child. Stepwise regression analysis indicated that schema modes explained 58% of the variance in dissociation. The schema modes that significantly predicted dissociation were the Detached Protector and Impulsive Child modes. Key therapeutic targets in treating adolescents with BPD include detachment and impulsivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Dissociation
  • Schema Modes

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