Borderline Personality Disorder in the Context of Self-Regulation: Understanding Symptoms and Hallmark Features as Deficits in Locomotion and Assessment

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Self-regulation, Borderline personality disorder, Impulsivity, Locomotion, Assessment

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Self-regulation has been hypothesized to play a role in the development and maintenance of borderline personality disorder (BPD), yet surprisingly few studies have tested this link directly. The current study examined the relationship between the self-regulation constructs of locomotion (i.e., the ability to commit the mental and physical resources necessary for goal-directed action) and assessment (i.e., the ability to critically evaluate a given state in order to judge the quality as compared to alternatives) with BPD, at the level of diagnostic symptoms as well as the dimensional hallmark features of interpersonal sensitivity, aggression, and impulsivity. Results indicated that low locomotion and high assessment was related significantly with BPD diagnostic symptoms and BPD hallmark features, above and beyond demographics, substance use severity, and depressive symptoms. These results suggest that poor self-regulation in the form of low locomotion and high assessment may play a role in a range of maladaptive behaviors characteristic of BPD.

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Personality and Individual Differences, v. 44, issue 1, p. 22-31