Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type



Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Ruth A. Baer


Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is characterized by patterns of intense negative affect, interpersonal difficulties, and maladaptive impulsive behaviors, and is associated with impairments in social and occupational functioning. Rumination is a maladaptive form of repetitive thought that maintains and intensifies emotional disturbance and is associated with behavioral dysregulation. This study tested several hypotheses about relationships between rumination and borderline personality features. This study included 117 college student participants, 88 female students and 29 male students, most of whom (84%) identified themselves as Caucasian. Participants completed a series of measures which included a writing sample to sample repetitive thought. Findings consistently suggested that rumination accounts for significant incremental variance in BPD features after controlling for various facets of neuroticism, which suggests that individuals with BPD features are probably engaging in high levels of multiple types of rumination. However, scores derived from the On Your Mind writing sample did not predict severity of borderline features after controlling for the NEO-neuroticism domain. Implications for these findings and limitations to this study are also discussed.