Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Clinical Psychology

Committee Chair

Meghan E. McDevitt-Murphy

Committee Member

James G. Murphy

Committee Member

Robert Cohen

Committee Member

Gilbert R. Parra


Aggressive behaviors, including physical aggression toward others and non-suicidal self-injury, are high-risk behaviors that are prevalent in the college student population. Personality disorder symptoms, particularly those of antisocial personality disorder and borderline personality disorder, are associated with these aggressive behaviors. Some researchers have posited that ASPD and BPD are “mirror-image disorders” that have similar underlying traits but differing behavioral manifestations of those characteristics, namely differing in terms of the object of their aggression. The present study investigated these issues by examining the pathways from ASPD and BPD to aggressive behaviors via the mechanisms of impulsivity, negative affect, and distress tolerance with the expectation that similar pathways would emerge for the personality disorder symptoms and their respective aggressive behavior. A sample of college students (N = 520) completed questionnaires in an online format. Path analysis showed differing pathways, with ASPD being associated with physical aggression via impulsivity, BPD being associated with physical aggression via all proposed mechanisms, and BPD being associated with NSSI via all mechanisms with the exception of impulsivity. Multi-group analysis revealed no gender differences, but did reveal differences for White versus Black students with regard to the magnitude of the pathways from ASPD and BPD to physical aggression and NSSI, respectively. Overall, results do not support the idea of ASPD and BPD being "mirror image disorders" in a college student population.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.