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The Interaction between Rejection Sensitivity and Emotional Maltreatment in Borderline Personality Disorder

Chesin, Megan; Fertuck, Eric; Goodman, Jeanne; Lichenstein, Sarah; Stanley, Barbara
BACKGROUND: Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a prevalent psychiatric disorder associated with significant distress, dysfunction, and treatment utilization. Though, theoretically, BPD is posited to arise from a combination of trait and environmental risk factors, few studies have tested trait-by-environment interactions in BPD. We investigated the roles of rejection sensitivity (RS) and childhood emotional neglect and abuse (ENA) as well as their interaction in BPD. SAMPLING AND METHODS: Eighty-five adults with a lifetime mood disorder who were recruited for outpatient studies in a psychiatric clinic were assessed for ENA using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire and for RS with the Adult Rejection Sensitivity Questionnaire. BPD diagnoses were made by consensus using data collected on the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV. Hierarchical logistic regression was used to test associations between RS, ENA, their interaction and BPD. RESULTS: RS and ENA interacted to predict co-occurring BPD in our sample of mood-disordered patients, with the strength of the relationship between RS and BPD depending on the severity of ENA. In the context of little or no ENA, RS and BPD were more strongly related than when ENA was more severe. CONCLUSIONS: Our results extend previous findings suggesting RS and ENA are risk factors for BPD. They also provide preliminary support for contemporary theories of BPD positing trait-by-environment interactions in the development of BPD. Prospective studies are needed to confirm these findings. (c) 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
PMID: 25277634
ISSN: 0254-4962
CID: 1450092

The Moderating Role of Rejection Sensitivity in the Relationship Between Emotional Maltreatment and Borderline Symptoms

Goodman, Jeanne; Fertuck, Eric; Chesin, Megan; Lichenstein, Sarah; Stanley, Barbara
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is theorized to develop from a combination of dispositional and environmental risk factors. Among these risk factors, both childhood emotional neglect and abuse (ENA) and rejection sensitivity (RS) have been independently associated with BPD symptomatology. However, to our knowledge, no studies have examined the interaction between these variables as they relate to BPD symptoms. In the current study, greater ENA and RS were independently associated with more BPD symptoms in a sample of undergraduate students (n=133). In addition, there was an interaction such that RS was more strongly correlated with BPD symptoms at moderate and low levels of ENA. Our findings suggest dispositional and environmental factors combine to instantiate BPD symptoms and thus suggest RS and ENA merit investigation in clinical samples.
PMID: 34744235
ISSN: 0191-8869
CID: 5068792