Family dynamics and development of borderline personality disorder

Nature versus nurture is a huge debate that will probably continue for centuries to come. Aspect advocates state, "just like a sunflower grows within an orderly way - unless flattened by an unfriendly environment - so will the individuals grow within an orderly way" (Santrock, 2010, p. 22). This word alone completely negates the nature-nurture argument. Proclaiming that orderly development can be flattened by an unfriendly environment further implicates that nurture has more of a direct effect on development than dynamics does. An individual's biological inheritance will always be his / her biological inheritance. It's the way that it is nurtured that typically influences who she or he becomes. It is my intent to supply the reader with information regarding children with either symptoms or a identification of Borderline Personality Disorder, apply the theoretical orientation of Erik Erikson to help my beliefs regarding this subject, and present an treatment strategy that I really believe would help out with this escalating problem. My hypothesis is the fact if the family and the adolescent with Borderline Personality Disorder understand how to establish an operating lifestyle, the adolescent will be less inclined to develop the severe, life-shattering symptoms of this disorder.

Literature Review

Theoretical Orientation

"Don't have fun at a children for his affectations; he is merely trying using one face after another to find his own. " This quote by Logan Pearsall Smith briefly summarizes the general final result desired in Erik Erikson's Eight Periods of Psychosocial Development. Corey (2007) talks about Erikson's model as alternative, dealing with humans inclusively as natural, social, and emotional beings. Erikson's developmental theory explains human being development over the complete life time in terms of various stages. He shows that each stage is designated by a particular crisis that should be resolved (p. 86).

Erikson's stages get started in infancy and go through the remainder of life. He developed eight distinct stages that indicate a certain degree of achievement. For healthy development that occurs, it's important to establish a specific sense of your unique selves in the framework of our connection with others at each stage of life (Corey, 2007, p. 86). Larsen (2008) expresses that each level represents a conflict, also called a developmental crisis which needs to be settled. Erikson also suffered the belief that fixations, meaning if the turmoil was not successfully and adaptively resolved, then personality development could become caught and the person would continue being preoccupied by that turmoil in development (p. 334).

Each level is specified by a specific age range; however, when the turmoil in each stage is not effectively resolved, it creates it difficult to go into the next stage at the same years that is expected. Corey (2007) identifies the four phases before the adolescent stage: trust versus mistrust, autonomy versus pity and doubt, effort versus guilt, and industry versus inferiority. Within the first level, trust versus mistrust, the developmental problems is to develop a feeling of trust with the child's caregiver between your ages of delivery and one. The developmental problems in the next stage is to gain autonomy, or mental competence, between your ages of 1 and three. The developmental crisis in the 3rd stage, effort versus guilt, is to gain initiative in cultural interactions between your ages of three and six. The fourth level, industry versus inferiority, identifies the developmental turmoil as gaining a feeling of industry between your age groups of six and 12 (p. 86-88) Corey also recognizes the fifth level which is recognized as identity versus identity confusion and is specific to children between age range 12 and 20. The developmental crisis that needs to be mastered is increasing an identification (p. 89). If Erikson thinks humans are inclusively biological, social, and internal beings, then his theoretical orientation helps my hypothesis that if the family and the adolescent with borderline personality disorder learn how to establish an operating lifestyle, the adolescent will be less likely to develop the severe, life-shattering symptoms of the disorder.


Females are usually more susceptible to a borderline diagnosis than men. Kreger (2005a) suggests that in the general populace, 75% of the individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder are feminine (Reports about BPD section, para. 1). The important question here is why BPD is more frequent in females than men. There are multiple theories to this phenomenon. One suggests that women will seek specialized help than men. Another is the fact that "women experience more inconsistent and invalidating communications in this contemporary society" (Kreger, "Myths and Realities about BPD, 2005b). Santrock (2010) declares that "gender development is affected by biological, communal, and cognitive factors" (p. 168). The biological factors are related to pubertal changes; communal factors are mainly derived from cultural encounters; and cognitive factors result from the intermingling of the kid and the social environment (p. 168-173). The social cognitive theory of gender supports my hypothesis. This theory accentuates that "children's and adolescent's gender development is affected by their observation and imitation of others' gender patterns, as well as by the rewards and punishments they experience for gender-appropriate and gender-inappropriate patterns" (Santrock, 2010, p. 173). Adolescents experience many, many blended messages that are constantly thrown at them as they develop. These blended information have the potential to do a sizable amount of harm. One skill that is important to build up during adolescence is feelings regulation and action regulation. Santrock identifies low self-control as being an antecedent of behavioral problems. Low self-regulation has been associated with "greater hostility, teasing of others, overreaction to annoyance, low cooperation, and incapability to postpone gratification" (p. 180). These behaviours are steady with common borderline behaviours. Teaching emotion rules skills is an essential component in a specific therapy that'll be used in my treatment strategy. Though my involvement will never be specifically targeted for adolescent females, it seems as if most the clients being offered will be female. Regardless of the gender being offered, emotion regulation is vital in the success of my treatment.

Moral Development

Interpersonal success is another aim for area in my intervention. The target is to become more interpersonally effective in human relationships; however, this may be more difficult for some than others. People that have a BPD examination routinely have difficulty in retaining stable associations. This deficit can be related to dysfunction in moral development. Moral development includes two proportions: interpersonal and intrapersonal. The intrapersonal dimension is specific to one's specific principles and sense of personal whereas the interpersonal sizes is specific to what is expected of someone in their interactions with others (Santrock, 2010, p. 236). Santrock recognizes Lawrence Kohlberg as developing a theory on children and their perceptions of right and incorrect. Kohlberg's theory will involve three levels with two phases in each level. The first level, preconventional reasoning, will involve periods one and two. Stage one is determined as abuse and obedience orientation (p. 238). Moral thought processes in this level are frequently congruent with consequence. Behavior is expected because parents ask it. Level two is recognized as individualism, instrumental purpose, and exchange (p. 238). This level involves quest for individual passions and reciprocating that freedom to others. One of these is the golden rule which involves an equal exchange. Kohlberg's second level, typical reasoning, involves stages three and four. Level three is tagged mutual interpersonal anticipations, relationships, and interpersonal conformity (p. 238). This stage is seen as a basing moral judgments on demonstrating trust towards others, caring for others, and staying faithful towards others. Stage four is tagged sociable systems morality (p. 238). This stage is basing moral judgments on the understanding of sociable order, legislation, justice and duty. Kohlberg's third level is known as postconventional reasoning that involves stages five and six. Stage five is recognized as social contract or tool and individual privileges. This stage requires reasoning one's ideals, principles, and protection under the law as exceeding regulations. Stage six is recognized as universal and honest principles. This stage involves developing a moral standard with a basis on general human rights. Personal risk is involved in this level and requires a person to determine if she or he will follow regulations or his or her conscience in regards to human rights (p. 239).

Stage two, preconventional reasoning, of Kohlberg's theory is likely where borderline individuals modify distorted thought habits. The concept of pursuing one's own hobbies is understandable to the borderline; however, allowing others to go after their own interests becomes difficult. I feature this to emotional dysregulation. Allowing others to pursue their own interests is not always problematic for the borderline. It only becomes difficult when the borderline is experiencing extreme thoughts and feels discontinued by the other person's wish to pursue other pursuits. Level three is also a difficult stage for borderline individuals to understand. Borderlines do value the other individual's trust, nurturing, and devotion; however, their value of these characteristics is often taken to the extreme. When the other specific shows any signal of providing attention towards others, the borderline can fluctuate between extreme idealizations and devaluations. People that have BPD is going to extreme measures in order to avoid being discontinued by someone important to them. Borderline individuals also have a problem with interpersonal relationships. The idea of "impending separation from an important other person has a destabilizing influence on the mood, sense of home, thought habits, and behavior", even if this separation is imagined (Gunderson & Hoffman, 2005, p. 5). The alternating of idealization and devaluation of others is recognized as splitting. Melanie Klein recognizes this phenomenon in her Thing Relations Theory (Wasdell, 1980). Gunderson and Hoffman (2005) say that folks with BPD often find themselves attracted towards others that are caring and loving. They often position the other person's virtues and capacities on the pedestal. It really is when that other person disappoints or hurts them in some way that "there can be a rapid transfer to devaluating your partner, who now does not give or service nearly enough" (p. 5). These major changes of disposition are often induced by the borderline convinced that they're being left behind or rejected. When stages two and three of Kohlberg's theory are dominated by such powerful thoughts, typical moral development is less likely to occur. Emotion legislation and interpersonal performance are target areas in a particular therapy I am going to use in my intervention.

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