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Childhood Precursors of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD): Why Are Childhood Precursors Important?

Activity Type:

  • On Demand

Release Date: 10/1/2016

Expiration Date: 10/1/2019

  • AMA PRA Category 1: 0.5
  • Participation: 0.5



Many major mental disorders, including psychoses, mood disorders, and substance use disorders, are now known to begin early in development. This research strategy has also been applied to personality disorders. The childhood precursors of antisocial personality are long established. Recent research shown that children and adolescents at risk for borderline personality disorder can also be identified. This presentation focuses on what early precursors can tell us about the etiology of personality disorders. Applying a multidimensional biopsychosocial model, temperamental abnormalities should appear early in development, and psychosocial risk factors should also be present at an early stage. However risk factors in developmental psychopathology show both equifinality and multifinality. One unanswered question is why some children with risk factors develop serious disorders, while others remain relatively resilient. Another concerns recent data suggesting that children with high plasticity show a greater likelihood for disorder, but also have an increased capacity to become high functioning adults.

**This content was captured at the 2015 APA Annual Meeting and may reference information from various sources and terminology from previous editions of the DSM. 


  • General Member - $6.25
  • Resident-Fellow Member - Free
  • Medical Student Member - $6.25
  • Non-Member - $12.50

Free member registration for this course through the Course of the Month promotion ended on October 31, 2016

CME Information

  • Summarize the latest research on the childhood precursors of BPD
  • Identify study designs that help identify precursors 
  • Identify the complex relationship between childhood adversity and BPD

Target Audience

Residents/Fellows, Psychiatrists

Estimated Time to Complete

Estimated Duration: 0.5 hours 
Program Start Date: October 1, 2016
Program End Date: October 1, 2019

How to Earn Credit

Participants who wish to earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit ™ or a certificate of participation may do so by completing all sections of the course including the evaluation. A multiple choice quiz is provided based on the content. A passing score of 100% must be achieved. Retakes are available for the test. After evaluating the program, course participants will be provided with an opportunity to claim hours of participation and print an official CME certificate (physicians) or certificate of participation (non-physicians) showing the date of completion and hours earned. 

Continuing Education Credit

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The APA designates this enduring material for a maximum of 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Faculty and Planner Disclosures


  • Joel Paris, M.D., McGill University. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests. 

Program Planners

  • Tristan Gorrindo, M.D., Director of Education, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests. 
  • Rajiv Radhakrishnan, M.D., Yale School of Medicine. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.  
  • Jon Fanning, M.S., C.A.E., Chief of Membership and RFM-ECP, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests. 
  • Stephanie Auditore, J.D., Director of Member Product Developmpent, Engagement & Portfolio Management, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests. 
  • Ricardo A. Juarez, M.S., Deputy Director, International Development and Engagement, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests. 

Hardware/Software Requirements

This internet-based CME activity is best experienced using Internet Explorer 8+, Mozilla Firefox 3+, Safari 4+. This website requires that JavaScript and session cookies be enabled. Certain activities may require additional software to view multimedia, presentation, or printable versions of the content. These activities will be marked as such and will provide links to the required software. That software may be: Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Windows Media Player.

Optimal System Configuration

  • Flash Player: Adobe Flash Player 10.3+ 
  • Browser: Firefox (latest version), Internet Explorer 8.0+, Safari 7.0+, Microsoft Edge (latest version) or Google Chrome (latest version)
  • Operating System: Windows XP+ or Mac OS X 10.4+ 
  • Internet Connection: 1 Mbps or higher

Minimum Requirements

  • Windows PC: 500-MHz Pentium II; Windows XP or higher; 128 MB RAM; Video Card at least 64MB of video memory; Macromedia Flash Player 10.3 or higher; Sound Card at least 16-bit; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content
  • Macintosh:Mac OS X 10.4+ or higher with latest updates installed; 1.83MHz Intel Core Duo or faster; RAM: 128MB or more; Video Card: at least 64MB of video memory; Sound Card: at least 16-bit; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content

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