Date of Award

2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Yaroslavsky, Ilya

Subject Headings

Psychology

Abstract

This study examined whether Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) features predict increased rumination in response to interpersonal contexts, leading to increased negative affect (NA) outcomes across self-report, experimental, and daily life settings. As BPD is characterized by sustained NA, emotion dysregulation, and pervasive difficulties in interpersonal relationships, interpersonal contexts may present a specific liability for individuals with BPD to ruminate, and subsequently, experience enduring NA. Undergraduate participants (N=119) completed measures of BPD features, dispositional rumination, emotion dysregulation, and both 1) a laboratory protocol that measured spontaneous rumination and affective reactivity to non-interpersonal (sad film clip) and interpersonal (Cyberball) stimuli and 2) a 7-day Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) that measured hourly peak NA, deployment of rumination at time of peak NA, interpersonal context at peak NA, and immediate NA relative to the EMA prompt. Multiple mediation models and general linear models were fit to examine study hypotheses. Results suggest differences in the relationships at trait level compared to state and momentary levels, wherein BPD predicts trait rumination and emotion dysregulation only. However, findings support that interpersonal contexts produce increased rumination that, in turn, may sustain negative affective states. Results suggest the need to include interpersonal considerations as a context for understanding ruminative cycles and affective outcomes.

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Physiology Commons

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