Borderline Personality Disorder During Pregnancy, Physiology, and Correlations Between Borderline Symptoms and Newborn Neurobehavior

Update item information
Publication Type honors thesis
School or College College of Social & Behavioral Science
Department Psychology
Faculty Mentor Elisabeth Conradt
Creator Allen, Ashley K.
Title Borderline Personality Disorder During Pregnancy, Physiology, and Correlations Between Borderline Symptoms and Newborn Neurobehavior
Date 2018
Description Prior research has shown prenatal stress and parental mental illness impair developmental well-being for infants. However, literature examining borderline personality disorder (BPD) symptoms during pregnancy and infant neurobehavioral outcomes for women with BPD are largely lacking. The purpose of this study was to examine the associations between BPD and physiological responses during a resting baseline and a social stress task during the third trimester of pregnancy and to examine the associations between BPD during pregnancy and newborn neurobehavior. The study included 147 women and their infants. All women completed the Borderline Symptom List-Short Form (BSL-23) online to assess symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder. We collected continuous measures of heart rate (HR) and respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) during a 10-minute baseline and during the trier social stress test. After giving birth, newborn neurobehavior was assessed at the hospital by utilizing the NICU Network Neurobehavioral Scale (NNNS). Level of BPD symptoms was positively correlated with baseline HR and was negatively correlated with baseline RSA. Changes in HR and RSA from baseline to the stress task phases were not significantly associated with BPD. Finally, correlations between maternal BPD and newborn NNNS summary scores were examined, but none of the associations were significant. The findings indicate women with BPD symptoms during the third trimester of pregnancy experience a similar physiological stress and emotion response as women with clinical BPD symptoms who are not pregnant, as determined by high baseline physiological dysregulation (i.e. high HR and low RSA). The nonsignificant associations between level of maternal BPD symptoms and newborn neurobehavior were unexpected, as prior research indicates maternal BPD is correlated with impairments in infant neurological and behavioral functioning. These findings could inform interventions to treat those with BPD while pregnant. This information in turn could enhance stress and emotional regulation for pregnant women experiencing BPD symptoms as well as enhance parent-child relationship functioning. Keywords: borderline personality disorder (BPD), maternal physiologic stress, heart rate (HR), respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), emotion dysregulation, newborn neurobehavior, NICU Network Neurobehavioral Scale (NNNS)
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Language eng
Rights Management (c) Ashley K. Allen
Format Medium application/pdf
Permissions Reference URL
ARK ark:/87278/s6m38jq6
Setname ir_htoa
Date Created 2020-08-03
Date Modified 2021-05-06
ID 1588138
Reference URL
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