Effortful Control, Rejection Sensitivity, and Borderline Personality Disorder Features in Adulthood.
This investigation examined the moderating role of effortful control (EC) in the association between rejection sensitivity (RS) and its subsequent interpersonal distress (IP-distress) on borderline personality disorder (BPD) features. In total, 625 multicultural undergraduates (Study 1) and 562 community international adults (Study 2) completed scales evaluating EC, RS, IP-distress, and BPD features; Study 2 participants also self-reported both anxious and angry expectations of rejection. In both samples, EC moderated the mediating effect of IP-distress in the link between RS and BPD-related psychopathology. The extent to which RS was associated with BPD symptoms through increased IP-distress was greater for individuals with low EC and less so for those with high EC. Thus, low self-regulatory abilities may foster the association between RS and BPD by magnifying interpersonal distress. The implications and limitations of findings are discussed.