Thus, acceptance and warmth from caregivers can mitigate accumulative damage to children from neglect, abuse, and conflict otherwise present in the social environment (Stepp et al., 2012).
Since nothing can be done to change the particular genetic vulnerabilities of children who are born to mothers with BPD, future researchers would be prudent to concentrate on the modification of parenting practices in order to intervene environmentally (Herr, Hammen, & Brennan, 2008).
Rather, such a mother would model ineffective ways of coping and managing stressful emotions, possibly even leading to neglect and abuse (Bandelow et al., 2005; Bornovalova, et al., 2006).
When caregivers invalidate children’s emotional responses during early childhood, often the child learns to deny his own natural responses, disrupting the development of emotional regulatory and processing systems (Bandelow et al., 2005; Bornovalova, et al., 2006).
Global ratings of impairment are higher for the children from mothers with BPD.
Even when adjusted for contributing factors such as childhood trauma, data found by Hobson and colleagues (2005) shows that maternal BPD continued to be a compelling factor correlating to poor outcomes in offspring.
Hobson and colleagues (2009), researching the particular challenges of parents with BPD, find a dysfunctional display in the inter-relatedness of these patients with psychotherapists.
The moment-to-moment interactions between patient and therapist may be compared to patients with dysthymia, due to intense and often heated exchanges coupled with idealizing and devaluing “flip-flopping” (Conroy et al., 2009).Children with a shameful and incongruent sense of self are more likely to engage in self injurious behavior and have dissociative symptoms, both of which are correlates of BPD (Hobson et al., 2005).Similarly, childhood internalizing and externalizing disorders have been shown to occur in patients with early deficits in their ability to self regulate (Eisenberg et al., 2001; Ogawa et al., 1997; Stepp et al., 2012; Suveg, Hoffman, Zeman, & Thomassin, 2009; Yates, 2004).Within this same group of offspring of mothers with BPD, higher rates of anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem were observed than in children from healthy controls (Hobson et al., 2005).Finally, studying the effects of maternal BPD on 15-year old adolescents, Stepp and others (2012) observed lower social self-perception, increased fearful attachment styles, more chronic stress, and maternal hostility within the mother-adolescent dyad.Additionally, only sparse research has been undertaken and therefore few manualized efforts exist to guide the efforts of clinical professionals in developing targeted interventions for the high-risk population of children being raised by mothers with BPD (Skodol & Bender, 2003; Stepp et al., 2012).