Dispositional and Contextual Risk Factors Associated with Borderline Personality Features and Intimate Partner Violence

Date

2019-05

Authors

Armenti, Nicholas A.

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Abstract

Individuals with borderline personality features may be particularly susceptible to reacting to situational stressors with negative emotion and aggression. The current study employed an experimental rejection induction paradigm to examine reactions to imagined rejection from a current romantic partner among individuals with borderline personality features. Results of the experimental rejection induction paradigm indicated that when individuals were asked to imagine an ambiguous rejection by their current romantic partner, the relation between borderline personality features and state anger post-rejection was strengthened. For individuals who imagined a critical rejection, there was no significant relation between borderline personality features and state anger post-rejection. Borderline personality features was positively associated with rejection sensitivity, physical assault, and psychological aggression. While rejection sensitivity did not serve as a mediator of the relation between borderline personality features and physical assault and psychological aggression, trait anger fully mediated the relation between borderline personality features and psychological aggression. Clinically, this suggests that angry responses to actual or perceived rejection are relevant targets for individual and couples-based interventions, especially for those with borderline personality features.

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Keywords

Borderline personality features, Rejection sensitivity, Anger, Intimate partner violence

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