Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in final edited form as: J Pers Disord. 2014 December ; 28(6): 810–823. doi:10.1521/pedi_2014_28_138.
PMCID: PMC4182161


Published by Guilford Press.


Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is associated with a proneness to unpleasant self-conscious emotions (SCE). Given that BPD is also associated with heightened rates of SCE-eliciting events (including unwanted sexual experiences), research examining the factors influencing SCE in response to these events is needed. This study examined associations between BPD pathology and SCE in response to adult unwanted sexual experiences among 303 community women. Extent of sharing about and perceived personal responsibility for the event were examined as moderators of the association between BPD and current event-related SCE. Both self-reported BPD symptom severity in the full sample and interview-based measures of BPD symptom count and diagnosis in a subsample (n=75) were associated with greater SCE at the event and currently. Moreover, in the subsample, both BPD symptom count and diagnosis were associated with heightened current SCE only when (1) extent of sharing was low, or (2) perceived personal responsibility was high.

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