`Birds of a feather flock together' or `opposites attract'?: characterizing the romantic partners of individuals exhibiting borderline personality disorder traits using a dimensional personality model

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Katherine Kuhlken (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Rosemery Nelson-Gray

Abstract: Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is often characterized by “a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships” (American Psychiatric Association, 2013, p. 663). There has been limited research, however, to characterize the romantic partners of individuals with this diagnosis. Furthermore, the research to date has resulted in inconsistent findings and focuses exclusively on categorical diagnoses, rather than dimensional personality traits. Therefore, this study sought to characterize the ideal and actual romantic partners of individuals exhibiting BPD traits in terms of the five factor model and determine whether these romantic partnerships support an attraction model of similarity, complementarity, or neither. It was predicted that the ideal romantic partners of individuals exhibiting higher BPD traits would possess five factor traits similar to their own, while their actual romantic partners would possess largely complementary five factor traits. Questionnaires assessing BPD traits, five factor traits, and romantic relationship characteristics were administered to 70 female college undergraduates, and a measure of five factor traits to their current romantic partners. Participants scoring higher on measures of BPD traits were found to desire ideal partners with higher neuroticism, and pair with actual partners with higher neuroticism and lower extraversion and agreeableness. Support was provided for the similarity model of attraction.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2014
Borderline personality disorder, Complementarity, Five factor model, Romantic partner, Similarity
Borderline personality disorder
Interpersonal relations

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