Autobiographical memory and parasuicide in borderline personality disorder
Article first published online: 24 DEC 2010
2001 The British Psychological Society
British Journal of Clinical Psychology
Volume 40, Issue 2, pages 113–120, June 2001
How to Cite
Startup, M., Heard, H., Swales, M., Jones, B., Williams, J. M. G. and Jones, R. S. P. (2001), Autobiographical memory and parasuicide in borderline personality disorder. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 40: 113–120. doi: 10.1348/014466501163535
- Issue published online: 24 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 24 DEC 2010
- Cited By
Background. Several studies have found that parasuicidal patients are poor at recalling specific autobiographical memories when tested with the word-cueing paradigm and two studies have reported some evidence that over-general recall is a risk factor for repetition of parasuicide. The aim of the present study was to test whether this association could be replicated with a sample of patients suffering from borderline personality disorder (BPD).
Method. Twenty-three patients with BPD completed a version of the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT) and self-report measures of depression, anxiety and trait anger. In a structured interview, they also reported the number of times they had engaged in parasuicidal acts during the previous 4 months.
Results. The number of general memories produced on the AMT made a significant contribution to the prediction of the frequency of parasuicidal acts in a multiple regression analysis but the partial correlation in the final equation was negative. That is, those who showed greatest over-general recall reported fewest parasuicidal acts. Anxiety and depression, but not trait anger, also made significant independent contributions to the prediction of parasuicide.
Conclusion. Over-general autobiographical recall may help to protect borderline individuals from parasuicidal acts by helping them to avoid distressing memories.