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Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Elizabeth Henneman

Second Advisor

Cynthia Jacelon

Third Advisor

Daniel Gerber

Subject Categories

Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing


ABSTRACT SOCIAL FACTORS THAT EXACERBATE FEATURES OF BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER IN YOUNG ADULT WOMEN BETWEEN 25 AND 35 YEARS OF AGE LIVING IN THE COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO AUGUST 2018 ERIKA M. CARRASQUILLO, B.S.N., SAN JUAN UNIVERSITY COLLEGE M.S.N., UNIVERSITY OF TURABO Ph.D., UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST Directed by: Professor Elizabeth A. Henneman The high prevalence of BPD hospitalizations, unsuccessful treatments, poor social awareness, suicide attempts and complete suicides were motivating forces for this research study. The aim was to uncover pertinent social factors that exacerbate BPD in the lives of individuals with this affliction and therefore find ways to combat this disease. Since most of the individuals affected by this disease are female, the present research was focused on uncovering factors that increased the likelihood of BPD factors in women between the ages of 25-35 years. Borderline personality disorder is often viewed as difficult to treat. However, recent research shows that BPD can be treated effectively; therefore many people with this condition improve over time (Zanarini, Frankenburg, Hennen, Reich, & Silk, 2005). The findings of this study provide insight into this mental health problem and may potentially serve as useful literature for mental health clinicians at the forefront of this poorly understood disorder.