Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Jennifer Waltz

Commitee Members

Bryan Cochran, Betsy Bach


borderline personality disorder, emotion dysregulation, emotion regulation, self-compassion


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology


A core feature of borderline personality disorder (BPD) is emotion dysregulation (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Such dysregulation leads to emotions spiraling out of control, hindering reason, and leading to out-of-control maladaptive behaviors (Conklin, Bradley, Westen, 2006). Invalidating environments, coupled with biologically based emotional vulnerability, are thought to account for the development of BPD (Linehan, 1993). Self-compassion (SC) is in contrast to some common symptoms related to BPD, such as self-hatred, intense shame, and negative self-schemas. SC was tested as a potential moderating mechanism in the relationship between emotion dysregulation and BPD symptoms among a sample of college students. SC consists of self-kindness, an understanding of common humanity, and mindfulness (Neff, 2003a). It was hypothesized that SC would moderate the relationship of emotion dysregulation and BPD characteristics in a college sample, such that those with higher levels of SC will have lower BPD characteristics. Results from multiple regression analyses supported this hypothesis. Implications for this study include the incorporation of teaching self-compassion into treatments for individuals with emotion dysregulation and/or BPD.



© Copyright 2015 Priya Loess