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Borderline and neurotic children: What's the difference anyhow?

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Empirical research on the presence and type of behavioral differences between borderline and neurotic children is presented. Following a summary of relevant psychodynamic conceptions of each classification, three hypotheses are outlined: that the groups can be differentiated behaviorally; that the borderline group has a greater degree of maladaptive behavior; and that the borderline group has specific disturbance in ego function, affect, and impulse control. Eleven neurotic and 10 borderline latency aged children were compared on demographic indices, intellectual measures, and a clinician-rated behavioral summary. The Rubin Goldberg-Hier Lippman (RGL) Degree of Disturbance Scale, assessing 11 dimensions of functioning, was utilized. Discriminant function analysis of the two groups' behavior was significant (p5.005).t tests were significant for a number of behavioral dimensions including ego function (p5.002); affect (p5.05); and attention (p5.05). The results of the study support the validity of the diagnostic discrimination with regard to behavioral as well as structural features of the disorders.

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Correspondence to Simon Shimshon Rubin.

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Rubin, S.S., Lippman, J. & Goldberg-Hier, M. Borderline and neurotic children: What's the difference anyhow?. Child Psych Hum Dev 15, 4–20 (1984).

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  • Function Analysis
  • Empirical Research
  • Discriminant Function
  • Impulse Control
  • Behavioral Difference