Prospective associations among borderline personality disorder symptoms, interpersonal problems, and aggressive behaviors

Stephanie D. Stepp, Tiffany D. Smith, Jennifer Q. Morse, Michael N. Hallquist, Paul A. Pilkonis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the prospective relationships among borderline personality disorder (BPD) symptoms, interpersonal problems, and types of aggressive behaviors (i.e., experiencing psychological and physical victimization and perpetrating psychological and physical aggression) in a psychiatric sample (N = 139) over the course of 2 years. We controlled for other PD symptoms and demographic variables. BPD symptoms at baseline were associated with interpersonal sensitivity, interpersonal ambivalence, interpersonal aggression, need for social approval, and lack of sociability 6 months later. In turn, interpersonal sensitivity predicted not experiencing physical aggression, interpersonal aggression predicted experiencing physical aggression and perpetrating both psychological and physical aggression, need for social approval predicted experiencing both psychological and physical aggression, and lack of sociability predicted perpetrating physical aggression 2 years later. Results demonstrated that interpersonal problems mediated the relationship between BPD and later violent behaviors. Our findings suggest the importance of distinguishing between these groups of aggressive behaviors in terms of etiological pathways, maintenance processes, and treatment interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-124
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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