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Intersubjectivity in borderline personality disorder: narrative, identity disturbance, and borderline personality traits

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(Thesis) M.A.
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Identity Disturbance as a Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) symptom has received little research attention, despite its association with serious behavioural problems and treatment outcome. The aim of this study was to examine a theoretical model relating identity disturbances, narrative coherence and BPD traits. To this end, 193 undergraduate students completed on-line measures of BPD traits, narrative coherence, identity disturbances, affect intensity, thought suppression, dissociative experiences, and relationship instability. As expected, narrative coherence was negatively associated with both identity disturbances and BPD traits. Contrary to expectations, coherence did not mediate the relationship between BPD traits and identity disturbances. Instead, BPD traits mediated the relationship between coherence and identity. Among associated BPD features, only dissociative experiences were associated with narrative coherence and mediated the association of coherence with identity disturbance. These findings suggest that narrative coherence is related to BPD symptoms and identity disturbances and provide support for narrative theories of identity.
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