Title

The Influence of Attachment Style, Self-protective Beliefs, and Feelings of Rejection on the Decline and Growth of Trust as a Function of Borderline Personality Disorder Trait Count

Publication Name

Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment

Abstract

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is associated with paradoxical trust behaviours, specifically a faster rate of trust growth in the face of trust violations. The current study set out to understand whether attachment style, self-protective beliefs, and feelings of rejection underpin this pattern. Young adults (N=234) played a 15-round trust game in which partner cooperation was varied to create three phases of trust: formation, dissolution, and restoration. Discontinuous growth modelling was employed to observe whether the effect of BPD trait count on trust levels and growth is moderated by fearful or preoccupied attachment style, self-protective beliefs, and feelings of rejection. Results suggest that the slower rate of trust formation associated with BPD trait count was accounted for by feelings of rejection or self-protective beliefs, both of which predicted a slower rate of trust growth. The faster rate of trust growth in response to trust violations associated with BPD trait count was no longer significant after self-protective beliefs were accounted for. Interventions targeting self-protective beliefs and feelings of rejection may address the trust-based interpersonal difficulties associated with BPD.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access

Funding Sponsor

University of Wollongong

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Link to publisher version (DOI)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10862-022-09965-9