Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education (PhD)

Degree Level



Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders


Roy C. Farley

Committee Member

Kristin K. Higgins

Second Committee Member

Stephanie L. Lusk

Third Committee Member

Sam L. Wallace


Social sceinces; Psychology; Health and environmental sciences; Education; Anxiety; Attachment styles; Avoidance; Borderline personality disorder; Propensity to trust; Trust


Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is one of the most frequently encountered and complex disorders in mental health care. Interpersonal impairment is a central issue for individuals with BPD. This complex disorder has received negative stigma along with historically more females than males receiving this diagnosis (Linehan, 1993). Therefore, this study examined a clinical sample of 30 females diagnosed with BPD. Through the collection of data this study used the following measures: a basic demographic questionnaire gathering specific age, ethnicity, current relationship status, parental relationship status, the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale (ECR; Brennan, Clark & Shaver, 1998), and the Propensity to Trust Scale (PTS; Frazier, Johnson, & Fainshmidt, 2013). The data was evaluated through descriptive statistics, a Shapiro-Wilk’s Test of Normality, a Kurkal-Wallis H test, and a Spearman’s rho correlation. Two tailed Cronbach’s =.05 level was used as the significance standard for all statistical procedures. As hypothesized, rs(28) = -.375, p = .041, the data indicated a significant negative correlation between avoidance and propensity to trust in females with BPD. Additionally, congruent with previous meta-analytic research findings (Agrawal, Gunderson, Holmes, & Lyons-Ruth, 2004), the majority of participants 93% reported an insecure style of attachment with preoccupied as the most frequent style of attachment reported. The following manuscript examines attachment styles and propensity to trust in females with BPD; clinical implications and future research are discussed.

Keywords: borderline personality disorder, attachment styles, propensity to trust, avoidance, anxiety