Clinical differences between people with borderline personality disorder with and without romantic relationships: a case-control study

Sara Navarro Gómez 1,2, Álvaro Frías 1,2, Carol Palma 1,2

1 Blanquerna Faculty of Psychology, Education and Sports Sciences, University of Ramon-Llull, Barcelona, Spain; 2 Adult Outpatient Mental Health Center, Consorci Sanitari del Maresme, Mataró, Spain

Background

The aim of this study was to determine the clinical differences (e.g., psychopathology, attachment style, self-esteem) between people with BPD with and without a romantic relationship.

Methods

The sample consisted of 49 BPD outpatients. Clinical variables were measured through the Borderline Symptom List, the Aggression Questionnaire, the BDI the Experience Close in Relationship, The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, the Conflict Tactics Scale, the Interpersonal Reactivity Index, the Communication Patterns Questionnaire, the Dyadic Adjustment Scale the Index Sexual Satisfaction and the Interpersonal Reactivity Index. Stepwise MANOVA, multiple binary logistic regression analysis and Pearson correlates were performed.

Results

BPD with RR scored significantly higher than BPD without RR in aggression, childhood trauma and Psychological Health. Physical aggression was the most significant predictor of being engaged in a romantic relationship in BPD. 

Conclusions

People with BPD and RR have a higher-level symptomatology in comparison to BPD without RR sample. In addition, it was found that physical aggression was the most predictive marital variable of the presence/non-presence of a RR.

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