Date of Submission

Spring 2016

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Psychology; Gender and Sexuality Studies

Project Advisor 1

Amy Winecoff

Abstract/Artist's Statement

People with borderline personality disorder (BPD) often have difficulties in romantic relationships. Although there is research about this romantic dysfunction, none of it investigates possible associations between it and the BPD symptom of identity disturbance, which is defined as unstable self-image or sense of self. In my senior project, I propose a study that explores whether the presence of painful incoherence, an important component of identity disturbance, affects the stability of people with BPD’s perceptions of their partners. Additionally, I propose to examine whether people with BPD and painful incoherence select partners with identity disturbance, and whether people with BPD and painful incoherence perceive their partners differently from how these partners perceive themselves. I hypothesize that people with BPD and higher painful incoherence will have shifting perceptions of their partners, will be prone to selecting partners with identity disturbance, and will perceive their partners differently from how these partners perceive themselves. My anticipated findings would have implications for the understanding of identity disturbance, the romantic difficulties that people with BPD experience, and factors pertaining to romantic relationships more generally. Having more knowledge about the interplay between identity disturbance and romantic difficulties in BPD is critical to targeting these significant problems in treatment, which would promote recovery from BPD.

Access Agreement

On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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