Borderline Personality Symptoms and Relationship Threat: The Moderating Role of Perceived Parental Rejection
Date of Award
Bachelor of Science
Department Chair or Program Director
Dr. Miriam Liss
Dr. Erin Palmwood
Dr. Miriam Liss
Dr. Christine McBride
Major or Concentration
Individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) often perceive relationship threats more intensely, resulting in increased emotional reactivity. However, this link has never been examined with physiological measures in “real time,” nor have reports of perceived parental rejection ever been investigated as a potential moderator of this link. To fill this gap, the present study induced romantic relationship threat, after which participants completed an emotional reactivity task while electroencephalography data were recorded. Results reveal that higher levels of BPD features were associated with increased emotional reactivity, indicated by larger late positive potential (LPP) amplitudes, to negative stimuli in the face of a romantic relationship threat. Results also indicate that perceived parental rejection moderates said link, in that individuals with high BPD features and high perceived parental rejection have decreased emotional reactivity to negative stimuli following a relationship threat. Findings have implications for treatment of BPD clients who have experienced parental rejection in childhood, as well as implications for couples’ counseling in the face of relationship threat.
Baumgartner, Elsa, "Borderline Personality Symptoms and Relationship Threat: The Moderating Role of Perceived Parental Rejection" (2022). Student Research Submissions. 468.
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