The intense, unstable interpersonal relationships characteristic of patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) are thought to represent insecure attachment. The Reciprocal Attachment Questionnaire was used to compare the attachment styles of patients with BPD to the styles of patients with a contrasting personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD). The results showed that patients with BPD were more likely to exhibit angry withdrawal and compulsive care-seeking attachment patterns. Patients with BPD also scored higher on the dimensions of lack of availability of the attachment figure, feared loss of the attachment figure, lack of use of the attachment figure, and separation protest. The findings may be relevant for understanding the core interpersonal psychopathology of BPD and for managing therapeutic relationships with these patients.
- Attachment patterns
- Attachment style
- Borderline personality disorder
- Obsessive compulsive personality disorder