The Sociocultural Context of Borderline Traits

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Breanna J. Rogers (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Blair Wisco

Abstract: Ongoing research on the prevalence of borderline personality disorder (BPD) has suggested that there is a similar prevalence rate across different racial groups and gender identities. Less is known about the intersection of race and gender in relation to the presentation of borderline traits across the diagnostic continuum. The present study sought to address this gap in the literature by investigating the impact of race and gender on the expression of borderline traits across the continuum of borderline personality disorder. In order to accomplish this, the present study tried to a) replicate the findings of De Genna and Feske (2013) in a sample of White and Black women, b) expand those findings to a sample of White and Black men, and c) explore the potential for a three-way interaction as an explanation for previous findings. A total of 132 participants (n = 33 male and n = 99 female) identifying as either Black (n = 55) or White (n = 74) participated in this online, cross-sectional study. Participants completed a series of questionnaires to determine differences in externalizing and internalizing symptoms that commonly co-occur with borderline traits across various racial and gender identities. The findings revealed that the effects of borderline traits vary based on gender and race for some externalizing traits (overall aggression, physical aggression, and verbal aggression). Results indicate that racial and gender differences should be considered during the diagnostic process for BPD. Future research should investigate the nuanced social mechanisms behind the observed differences.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Language: English
Date: 2023
borderline personality disorder, racial differences, gender differences, internalizing, externalizing

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