Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Name

Clinical Psychology

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Stuart Hall

Commitee Members

Christine Fiore, Allen Szalda-Petree, Jennifer Waltz, Polly Peterson


Borderline Personality Disorder, Neuropsychology


University of Montana


In the current study, participants with borderline personality disorder (BPD) displayed deficits in neuropsychological functioning when compared with healthy controls. Participants with BPD performed worse on all measures of cognitive functioning: attention, verbal memory, processing speed and a measure of general neuropsychological functioning. The study found that depression was significantly more prevalent in the BPD sample compared with the control sample and that there was a significant inverse correlation between level of depression and scores on a general index of neuropsychological functioning. Results from ANCOVA analyses revealed significant differences existed in neuropsychological performance on all four measures of cognitive functioning between the two groups after controlling for depression. The role of effort in testing with persons with BPD was explored, with results indicating that participants with BPD provided good effort. Lastly, the study's findings showed that those participants with a BPD diagnosis and a neurological disease performed worse on the measure of general neuropsychological functioning compared with individuals with BPD who had no history of a diagnosed neurological disease. Results from ANCOVA analyses revealed that significant differences in neuropsychological performance on all measures of cognitive functioning existed between the two groups after controlling for presence of a diagnosed neurological disorder.

Implications of the study findings have been presented and discussed. Also, possible confounds to the study's findings were identified and discussed in the hope that future replications of the current study will control for such variables and result in robust research findings. Suggestions for future research in this area have been provided to assist in the construction of a more complete neuropsychological profile of BPD.



© Copyright 2007 Christopher S. Miller