Parsing the Contributions of Attachment and Trauma in Pathways to Dissociation, Suicidality, and Borderline Personality Disorder
Disorganized attachment processes have been theorized to contribute to a range of trauma-related psychopathologies in adulthood. Dr. Lyons-Ruth will focus on the current state of knowledge regarding parent-child interaction patterns associated with trajectories toward dissociation, borderline psychopathology, and suicidality, and present new interactional and neurobiological findings from recent longitudinal work. She will discuss recent findings regarding controlling, role-confused, and disoriented forms of parent-child communication and how these varied facets of disorganized relationships may contribute differentially to different forms of trauma-related psychopathology. She will also focus on findings distinguishing the effects of trauma and attachment in these trajectories, and advance a model of how traumatic events and attachment processes may interrelate in development.
This session was originally presented as a live conference session in May 2020.
At the conclusion of this session participants will be able to:
- Describe the features of parent-child interaction most predictive of dissociation, borderline features, and suicidality in young adulthood
- Discuss differences in limbic development associated with early attachment disturbance rather than later childhood maltreatment
- Explain how early attachment experiences and later maltreatment may contribute in distinct ways to trauma-related psychopathology and neurobiological development
Presenter: Karlen Lyons-Ruth, PhD
Presenter Bio: Karlen Lyons-Ruth, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Director of the Biobehavioral Family Studies Lab, and a supervising psychologist at the Cambridge Hospital. Her work has focused on understanding the adaptations in attachment relationships that occur in high-risk environments over the infancy, childhood, and adolescent periods and has been supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and private foundations. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, a former Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute of Harvard University, and has served on the Board of Directors of the World Association of Infant Mental Health, as well as the Editorial Boards of Child Development, Developmental Psychology, and the Infant Mental Health Journal. She maintains a private practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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