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Core features of adult Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) - affective instability/dysregulation, impulsivity/behavioral dysregulation, and disturbed relatedness/interpersonal dysfunction - are also observed in children. However, little research has examined known about the development of such characteristics in children. A recent study (Belsky et al., 2012) published in Development and Psychopathology investigated the developmental antecedents of BPD characteristics in children a longitudinal study of 1,116 same sex twins. It was determined that BPD characteristics at age 12 were heritable and predicted by poor cognitive function, impulsivity, and behavioral and emotional problems at age 5, as well as physical and emotional maltreatment in the family through age 10. BPD characteristics at age 12 were also shown to co-occur with other behavioral and emotional problems such as Conduct Disorder characteristics, anxiety, and depression.
Belsky, Daniel W., Caspi, Avshalom, Arseneault, Louise, Bleidorn, Wiebke, Fonagy, Peter, Goodman, Marianne, . . . Moffitt, Terrie E. (2012). Etiological features of borderline personality related characteristics in a birth cohort of 12-year-old children. Development and Psychopathology, 24(01), 251-265. doi: doi:10.1017/S0954579411000812