Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Shannon Sauer-Zavala


Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is characterized by maladaptive levels across three personality domains: Neuroticism, (low) Agreeableness, and (low) Conscientiousness. The Unified Protocol (UP) is a transdiagnostic treatment that targets neuroticism and has demonstrated promising effects with BPD. However, not all individuals with BPD respond to UP treatment. The aim of the current study was to explore the extent to which the UP is an efficacious treatment for BPD symptoms. This study represents a secondary analysis of a clinical trial in which the UP was the study treatment; data from the full sample and a subset of nine participants who likely met criteria for BPD were included. First, we explored within-group changes in general BPD symptoms, along with specific symptom domains. Improvements in total BPD symptoms were not observed in the full sample, whereas the UP resulted in moderate overall BPD symptom improvement among participants with BPD. Contrary to expectations, emotional difficulties did not exhibit larger effects than other domains. We also explored differences in within-person change in BPD scores during treatment based on patients’ FFM profiles at baseline. Change on BPD symptoms was not predicted by a typical BPD FFM profile. Possible explanations for the results and limitations were discussed.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)