Betrayal trauma, experiences of racism, resilience, and borderline personality characteristics in African-Americans

Maria F Walton, Tennessee State University

Abstract

This study explored the relationships between levels of betrayal involved in traumatic experiences, experiences of racism, resilience, and borderline personality characteristics in African Americans. Participants were recruited from a southern historically black college or university (HBCU), a private outpatient mental health clinic, internet listservs, and through snowball sampling. Participants completed a demographic questionnaire, the Brief Betrayal Trauma Scale (BBTS), the Schedule of Racist Events (SRE), the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale – 10-item version (CD-RISC-10), the Borderline Personality Inventory (BPI), and the Affective Lability Scale (ALS). Pearson product correlations assessed the relationships among the variables. High levels of borderline personality characteristics were significantly related to traumatic events with high levels of betrayal, high levels of cumulative trauma, more frequent racist experiences, and low resiliency. Multiple regressions were conducted to investigate the predictive ability of the independent variables on borderline personality characteristics. High betrayal traumas occurring between ages 0–12 and at ages 18 and over predicted borderline personality characteristics, as did medium betrayal traumas occurring before age 12. Cumulative trauma also predicted borderline personality characteristics, and resilience moderated the relationship between betrayal trauma and borderline personality characteristics. Racist experiences did not moderate the relationship between trauma and borderline personality characteristics, and age at the time of trauma in general did not predict borderline personality characteristics. No differences were found between genders on borderline personality characteristics. ^

Subject Area

African American Studies|Black Studies|Psychology, Behavioral|Psychology, Counseling|Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies

Recommended Citation

Maria F Walton, "Betrayal trauma, experiences of racism, resilience, and borderline personality characteristics in African-Americans" (2014). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3623046.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI3623046

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