Interpersonal functioning in borderline personality disorder: a systematic review of behavioral and laboratory-based assessments.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review;Systematic Review)

It is widely accepted that interpersonal problems are a central area of difficulty for those with borderline personality disorder (BPD). However, empirical elucidation of the specific behaviors, or patterns of behaviors, characterizing interpersonal dysfunction or dissatisfaction with relationships in BPD is limited. In this paper, we review the literature on interpersonal functioning of individuals with BPD by focusing on studies that include some assessment of interpersonal functioning that is not solely self-report; that is, studies with either behavioral laboratory tasks or manipulation of interpersonal stimuli in a controlled laboratory setting were included. First, we review the literature relevant to social cognition, including perceptual biases, Theory of Mind/empathy, and social problem-solving. Second, we discuss research that assesses reactivity to interpersonal stressors and interpersonal aggression in BPD. Next, we review the literature on trust and cooperation among individuals with BPD and controls. Last, we discuss the behavior of mothers with BPD in interactions with their infants. In conclusion, we specify areas of difficulty that are consistently identified as characterizing the interpersonal behaviors of those with BPD and the relevant implications. We also discuss the difficulties in synthesizing this body of literature and suggest areas for future research.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lazarus, SA; Cheavens, JS; Festa, F; Zachary Rosenthal, M

Published Date

  • April 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 34 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 193 - 205

PubMed ID

  • 24534643

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-7811

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.cpr.2014.01.007


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States