Parenting in Patients with Borderline Personality Disorder, Sequelae for the Offspring and Approaches to Treatment and Prevention

  • Julian G. Florange
  • Sabine C. HerpertzEmail author
Personality Disorders (K Bertsch, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Personality Disorders


Purpose of Review

We review recent findings concerning the implications of borderline personality disorder (BPD) on parenting behaviors, the parent-child relationships, and parental and child outcomes. We focus on self-report and interview data characterizing parents with BPD and their children as well as on observational paradigms investigating parent-child relationships and the quality of dyadic interactions. Novel treatment approaches are discussed.

Recent Findings

Parents with BPD suffer from increased parenting stress and display characteristic behavioral patterns towards their children, impeding the formation of a healthy parent-child relationship and disrupting offspring emotional development. Offspring are at greater risk of maltreatment and developing BPD themselves, with parental affective instability playing a substantial mediating role.


Mothers with BPD face a meaningful burden in their parenting role. Mechanisms of the transmission of BPD pathology onto the following generation are beginning to be understood. Targeted interventions have been devised recently, with preliminary testing producing encouraging results.


BPD Parenting Abuse Parent-child relationship Transgenerational transmission Targeted psychotherapy 


Funding Information

The study was supported by the grant UBICA-II from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research to SC.H. (BMBF 01KR1803B). The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research had no influence on the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Julian G. Florange and Sabine C. Herpertz declare no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of General Psychiatry, Center for Psychosocial MedicineUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  2. 2.Department of General Psychiatry, Center for Psychosocial MedicineUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

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