Background. This study investigated whether individuals with borderline personality disorder
(BPD) tend to be overgeneral in their autobiographical recall and whether the extent of their
overgeneral recall covaries with their susceptibilities to dissociative experiences, as expected on
Methods. Twenty-three patients with BPD and 23 matched controls completed the Autobiographical
Memory Test (AMT) and self-report measures of depression, anxiety, trait anger and
Results. Participants with BPD scored significantly higher than the control group on the measures
of depression, anxiety, trait anger, and dissociative experiences and also retrieved significantly more
general memories on the AMT. The number of general memories retrieved by the BPD group
correlated significantly with their dissociation scores but not with their scores on mood measures.
Conclusions. Patients with BPD have difficulties in recalling specific autobiographical memories.
These difficulties are related to their tendency to dissociate and may help them to avoid episodic
information that would evoke acutely negative affect.