Why the jurors might have thought emotional abuse was significant w Jodi given her BPD diagnosis by the state.
"Severe dissociation is one of the diagnostic criteria for BPD and has been suggested to be one of the key, distinguishing components of BPD (Skodol et al., 2002; Wildgoose, Waller, Clarke, & Reid, 2000; Zweig-Frank, Paris, & Guzder, 1994). Yet, how dissociation relates to trauma in those diagnosed with BPD is unclear. Zweig- Frank and colleagues did not find an association between childhood trauma and dissociation in men and women diagnosed with BPD. A later study using a sample of male patients and prison- ers (Timmerman & Emmelkamp, 2001) also corroborates the previous finding that childhood trauma and dissociation in BPD are not related. However, in a different study, total childhood trauma was not significantly associated with dissociation, although emotional neglect was (Simeon, Nelson, Elias, Greenberg, & Hol- lander, 2003
). Furthermore, one study identified four risk factors for dissociation in BPD pa- tients: “inconsistent treatment by a caretaker, sexual abuse by a caretaker, witnessing sexual violence as a child, and adult rape history” (Zanarini, Ruser, Frankenburg, Hennen, & Gunderson, 2000, p. 26). A study by Watson, Chilton, Fairchild, and Whewell (2006) did not find a significant correlation between dissocia- tion and sexual abuse, but did find associations with physical abuse and emotional neglect, with emotional abuse as the strongest predictor of dissociation
. Furthermore, there was a positive correlation between severity of trauma and lev- els of dissociation. The authors of this study suggest “rather than being an intrinsic compo- nent of BPD, dissociation and BPD may share childhood trauma as an etiological factor” (p. 480). BTT would propose the dissociation seen in BPD is a defense mechanism against child- hood trauma to prevent dangerous information from entering consciousness. This theory posits the degree of the betrayal associated with the childhood trauma influences the encoding, sub- sequent accessibility to awareness, and respon- ses to the event (Freyd, 1996)."