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Does alexithymia mediate the association between borderline personality pathology and non-suicidal self-injury?

Brumme, L.I. (2019) Does alexithymia mediate the association between borderline personality pathology and non-suicidal self-injury?

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Abstract:Borderline personality disorder is a mental disorder defined by instability in mood; affect regulation, impulse control and problems with relationships and self-image. A characteristic behaviour in BPD is non-suicidal self-injury. An underlying determinant, contributing to NSSI in patients with BPD is alexithymia, reflecting difficulty in identifying feelings (DIF), difficulty describing feelings (DDF) and externally orientated thinking (EOT). The aim of the presented study was investigating if the alexithymia components DIF, DDF and EOT mediate the association between BPD traits and NSSI urge. The research features a cross-sectional online-survey design, with 185 participants. The constructs were explored by the TAS-20, investigating the alexithymia scores, the ABUSI, investigating NSSI urge and the PID-5-BF investigating BPD traits. A mediation analysis testing whether DIF DDF and EOT mediate the association between BPD traits and NSSI urge was conducted. Statistical significant indirect effects were found for the mediators DIF and DDF. For EOT, no significant mediation effect was found.These results confirm that DDF and DIF can explain the association between BPD traits and NSSI urge. In a parallel mediation model, only EOT cannot explain this association. Thus, further research and treatment for BPD and NSSI should target problems in the identification and verbalization of emotions.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/78978
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