Objectives: The results of studies of autobiographical recall in borderline personality disorder (BPD) have so far been inconsistent. The aims of the present study were to clarify this relationship by comparing memory specificity in BPD individuals, both with and without comorbid depression, to healthy controls; and to test whether differences between BPD individuals and healthy controls are mediated by differences in general intelligence and years of education. Method: Depressed (N = 22) and non-depressed (N = 9) patients who met criteria for BPD were matched by age and gender with healthy controls (N = 29). All were assessed with the Autobiographical Memory Test and the National Adult Reading Test. Results: No difference in memory specificity was found among people with BPD between those who had a comorbid diagnosis of major depression disorder and those who did not. Individuals with BPD were less specific than controls but the relationship between memory specificity and borderline diagnosis was largely mediated by group differences in IQ and education. Conclusions: Differences in autobiographical specificity between patients with BPD and healthy controls may be due not to borderline disorder nor current major depression but to differences in cognitive ability.
British Journal of Clinical Psychology Vol. 49, Issue 3, p. 413-420