Borderline Personality Disorder Features, Self-Verification, and Committed Relationships
Valentiner, David P.
Skowronski, John Joseph
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This study examines whether self-verification strivings are greater for individuals with elevated features of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) than individuals with minimal features of BPD, and whether this is especially true for those in committed romantic relationships. Participants (N = 329) completed an online questionnaire that included an assessment of their: (1) relationship status, (2) degree of BPD traits, (3) social self concept, and (4) preference for negative feedback. Results of the study evinced a negative correlation between social self concept and the preference for negative feedback, replicating prior evidence of self-verification strivings. These strivings, however, were greatest for participants with BPD features who were involved in a relationship compared to participants with BPD features who were not in a relationship or to participants without BPD features. These results suggest that committed, exclusive romantic relationships either exacerbate or fail to meet the self-verification needs of individuals with BPD features. The implications of these findings for our understanding of BPD and for future research are discussed.