Biosocial theory

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Biosocial Theory is a theory in behavioral and social science that describes personality disorders and mental illnesses and disabilities as biologically-determined personality traits reacting to environmental stimuli.[1][2]


M. M. Linehan wrote in her 1993 paper, Cognitive–Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorderm that "the biosocial theory suggests that BPD is a disorder of self-regulation, and particularly of emotional regulation, which results from biological irregularities combined with certain dysfunctional environments, as well as from their interaction and transaction over time"[3]

According to a 1999 article published by McClean Hospital "DBT is based on a biosocial theory of personality functioning in which BPD is seen as a biological disorder of emotional regulation. The disorder is characterized by heightened sensitivity to emotion, increased emotional in-tensity [sic] and a slow return to emotional baseline. Characteristic behaviors and emotional experiences associated with BPD theoretically result from the expression of this biological dysfunction in a social environment experienced as invalidating by the borderline patient."[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cloninger CR (1986). "A unified biosocial theory of personality and its role in the development of anxiety states". Psychiatr Dev. 4 (3): 167–226. PMID 3809156. 
  2. ^ Matson JL (1985). "Biosocial theory of psychopathology: a three by three factor model". Appl Res Ment Retard. 6 (2): 199–227. PMID 3160305. 
  3. ^ Linehan, M. M. (1993a) Cognitive–Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. New York: Guilford Press.
  4. ^ Murphy, Elizabeth T., and Gunderson, John. A Promising Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder, McLean Hospital Psychiatic Update, January 1999.

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