This study examined the association between perceived emotional invalidation and Borderline Personality (BP) features, and the role of perceived attachment security within primary caregiver and romantic relationships as a potential mediator. Participants (n = 180) were recruited from a university student population and the general public. Data were collected regarding perceived experiences of invalidation and attachment security, as well as the presence of BP features. Perceived invalidation in both caregiver and romantic relationships was positively associated with BP features. These findings support Linehan’s hypothesis that childhood invalidation is a risk factor for BP features and suggest that invalidation may have a role in maintaining BP features in adulthood. Additionally, results suggest that perceived attachment security accounted for the association between perceived invalidation and BP features. Findings suggested that attachment-related anxiety, and not attachment-related avoidance, explained the link between perceived invalidation and BP features in childhood and adulthood relationships.
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Thesis advisor: Chapman, Alexander
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