Impact of Negative Affect and Borderline Personality Disorder Symptomatology on Agressive Behavior

L. Alana Seibert-Hatalsky, Lauren F. Wilson


The current study examined whether individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) symptomatology would vary in their aggressive behavior following mood induction. One hundred and eighty-four males and females were randomly assigned to a neutral, sad, or anger mood induction. Following mood induction, individuals participated in an aggression paradigm disguised as a competitive reaction-time task wherein they were free to administer or refrain from administering shocks to an ostensible opponent. Results indicated that there were no main effects of gender, BPD symptomatology, or condition on aggressive behavior. Explication of a three-way interaction among BPD, gender, and condition revealed that when experiencing negative affect (anger or sadness), females endorsing higher levels of BPD symptomatology were less physically aggressive than their low BPD symptomatology counterparts. Results are discussed in relation to emotion regulation.

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