Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 50, Issue 2, pp 209–221 | Cite as

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

  • Clair BennettEmail author
  • Glenn A. Melvin
  • Jeremy Quek
  • Naysun Saeedi
  • Michael S. Gordon
  • Louise K. Newman
Original Article


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.


Perceived invalidation Borderline personality disorder Adolescence Parenting Parallel reports 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clair Bennett
    • 1
    Email author
  • Glenn A. Melvin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jeremy Quek
    • 1
  • Naysun Saeedi
    • 3
  • Michael S. Gordon
    • 1
    • 3
  • Louise K. Newman
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Centre for Developmental Psychiatry and Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash HealthMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Educational Development, Appraisal and ResearchUniversity of WarwickCoventryUK
  3. 3.Early in Life Mental Health Service, Monash HealthMelbourneAustralia
  4. 4.Centre for Women’s Mental HealthThe Royal Women’s HospitalMelbourneAustralia
  5. 5.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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