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Negative life experiences and the development of cluster C personality disorders: a cognitive perspective. Cogn Behav Ther 2011;40(3):190-205



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-80052249001   1 Citation


Early negative experiences have long been thought to play an important role in the development of personality disorders. Most of the literature regarding these early life experiences has focused on borderline personality disorder, with only occasional focus on other personality disorders. Utilizing cognitive theory of personality disorders (Beck et al., 2004), the authors conceptualize cluster C personality disorders (avoidant, dependent, and obsessive-compulsive). They then critically review the relevant literature on early negative life experiences and later development of these disorders to determine whether the theory is supported by the empirical data. The theory regarding avoidant and dependent personality disorders has limited support, whereas data relating to obsessive-compulsive personality disorder are much weaker. Implications and future research suggestions are discussed.

Author List

Birgenheir DG, Pepper CM


Denis Birgenheir PhD Assistant Professor in the Psychiatry department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Life Change Events
Personality Disorders
Psychological Theory