Self-punishment as a regulation strategy in borderline personality disorder

M. Zachary Rosenthal, Kelly C. Cukrowicz, Jennifer S. Cheavens, Thomas R. Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Studies using the Thought Control Questionnaire (TCQ; Wells & Davies, 1994) suggest that the tendency to use self-punishment (e.g., shouting at oneself) in order to control unpleasant internal experiences (e.g., cognitive and emotional) is associated with psychopathology. To evaluate the role of self-punishment in borderline personality disorder (BPD), we first examined whether TCQ scales, including Self-Punishment, were different among adults with BPD (n = 31) when compared to those with other personality disorders (OPD; n = 24), elevated symptoms of major depressive disorder (MDD; n = 24), and healthy controls (n = 105). Findings indicated that Self-Punishment was elevated in the BPD group relative to other groups. Next, Self-Punishment was examined as a potential mediator in the relationship between negative affectivity and BPD symptom severity in all participants. Results indicated that Self-Punishment did not mediate this relationship, but did account for significant variance in BPD symptoms over and above negative affectivity. Implications and future research directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-246
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Personality Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006


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