Brief report: relationships between facets of impulsivity and borderline personality features

Jessica R Peters, Brian T Upton, Ruth A Baer
Journal of Personality Disorders 2013, 27 (4): 547-52
Relationships between specific borderline personality disorder (BPD) features and facets of impulsivity (negative and positive urgency, premeditation, perseverance, and sensation seeking) were examined in a sample of 227 undergraduate students, oversampled to include many with elevations on a measure of borderline features. Most facets of impulsivity were positively correlated with borderline features, except for sensation seeking, which showed a mixed pattern of relationships with specific BPD features. In regression models, negative urgency was the strongest predictor of all BPD features scales, including affective instability, identity problems, negative relationships, and self-harm. Premeditation, positive urgency, and sensation seeking demonstrated incremental validity over negative urgency in predicting some BPD features; however, significant beta weights were negative for sensation seeking, suggesting that it may be protective or adaptive for BPD, unlike other forms of impulsivity. This study provides evidence for variation in how types of impulsivity contribute to different BPD features and demonstrates the importance of examining BPD features on the subscale level.

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