Date of Thesis

Spring 2024


The purpose of my study was to investigate the relationship between subclinical Borderline Personality Disorder and social support in situational measures such as social provisions, network size, and network satisfaction as well as dispositional measures such as support seeking and socially supportive behaviors. I hypothesized that BPD scores would be negatively correlated with all dispositional support measures. I also predicted that in situational support measures, BPD would have a negative correlation. I hypothesized when confronted with romantic stressors participants would receive more support when confounded with the workplace stressors. Participants (N= 178; 146 women 28 men, 3 nonbinary individuals, and 1 identified as other) attending Bucknell, a northeastern, rural, university completed the measures of all variables and subscales through an online self-report survey. Pearson's correlations between dispositional support and BPD scores revealed that BPD scores had a significant negative correlation with Nurturance and a significant positive correlation with Reassurance of Worth and Guidance. Pearson's correlations for BPD symptoms and social support for situational measures revealed that romantic stressors had a positive significant correlation to Nondirective Support. Between the workplace and romantic situation stressors, t-tests revealed that Nondirective Support was significantly higher in the romantic stressor than in the workplace while the workplace condition had significantly higher Reliable Alliance scores than romantic stressors. The results revealed that BPD symptoms had significant correlations to the type and amount of support provided situationally and dispositionally. Future research should focus on assessment measures with a multidimensional, spectrum approach, which would be useful for the subclinical population.


Borderline Personality Disorder, Subclinical, Social Support, Social Networks

Access Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Type

Bachelor of Science



Minor, Emphasis, or Concentration


First Advisor

J.T. Ptacek

Second Advisor

Chris J. Boyatzis