Appraisals of daily romantic relationship experiences in individuals with borderline personality disorder features. Academic Article uri icon

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  • The current study examined the relationship between borderline personality disorder (BPD) features and appraisals of daily romantic relationship experiences. The sample included 114 ethnically diverse, young adult dating couples (total N = 228). Participants completed a 14-day daily diary study and reported negative impact and emotional loss to their romantic partner in response to daily positive and negative self-initiated and partner-initiated romantic experiences. Results indicated that BPD features, even when controlling for relationship satisfaction, total number of relationship experiences, and depressive symptoms, were associated with reporting greater negative impact and greater emotional loss to both partner-initiated negative and positive experiences. BPD features were generally not associated with reporting greater negative impact and emotional loss in response to self-initiated negative and positive experiences. The results suggest that individuals with BPD features have a negative interpretation bias to both negative and positive experiences and the effect is generally specific to partner-initiated experiences. Negative appraisals may be one mechanism underlying interpersonal dysfunction in those with BPD features and interventions that directly assess and target these cognitive biases may help improve individual well-being and overall couple functioning.


  • Bhatia, Vickie
  • Davila, Joanne
  • Eubanks-Carter, Catherine
  • Burckell, Lisa

publication date

  • June 2013