I examined the association of negative emotion differentiation with borderline personality (BP) features, and whether negative emotion differentiation moderates the association of BP features with self-destructive behaviour. Undergraduate and community participants first completed questionnaires assessing BP features and psychopathology. Subsequently, ecological momentary assessment and daily diary methods were used to assess emotion, urges to engage in self-destructive behaviour, and self-destructive behaviour engaged in over a 14-day period. As a measure of negative emotion differentiation, intraclass correlation coefficients were calculated from the repeated administration of the emotion questionnaire. As predicted, BP features were negatively associated with negative emotion differentiation. As well, multilevel modelling revealed that negative emotion differentiation moderated the relationship between BP features and urge intensity, but not actual engagement in self-destructive behaviour. These results suggest that teaching individuals high in BP features how to better differentiate negative emotions may lessen the intensity of urges to engage in self-destructive behaviour.
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Thesis advisor: Chapman, Alexander
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