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07-07-2015 | Original Article | Uitgave 3/2016

Cognitive Therapy and Research 3/2016

The Main and Interactive Effects of Maternal Interpersonal Emotion Regulation and Negative Affect on Adolescent Girls’ Borderline Personality Disorder Symptoms

Cognitive Therapy and Research > Uitgave 3/2016
Katherine L. Dixon-Gordon, Diana J. Whalen, Lori N. Scott, Nicole D. Cummins, Stephanie D. Stepp
Belangrijke opmerkingen
Portions of these data have been presented at the North American Society for the Study of Personality Disorders, the Association for Psychological Science, and the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies annual conventions.


The transaction of adolescent’s expressed negative affect and parental interpersonal emotion regulation are theoretically implicated in the development of borderline personality disorder (BPD). Although problem solving and support/validation are interpersonal strategies that foster emotion regulation, little is known about whether these strategies are associated with less BPD severity among adolescents. Adolescent girls (age 16; N = 74) and their mothers completed a conflict discussion task, and maternal problem solving, support/validation, and girls’ negative affect were coded. Girls’ BPD symptoms were assessed at four time points. A 3-way interaction of girls’ negative affect, problem solving, and support/validation indicated that girls’ negative affect was only associated with BPD severity in the context of low maternal support/validation and high maternal problem solving. These variables did not predict changes in BPD symptoms over time. Although high negative affect is a risk for BPD severity in adolescent girls, maternal interpersonal emotion regulation strategies moderate this link. Whereas maternal problem solving coupled with low support/validation is associated with a stronger negative affect-BPD relation, maternal problem solving paired with high support/validation is associated with an attenuated relationship.

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