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Peer Review Article of "Emotional Experiences in Young Adults with BPD Symptoms"

Article Review

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Article Review

The article I selected for the review is titled “Characterizing Positive and Negative Emotional Experiences in Young Adults with Borderline Personality Disorder Symptoms” (Chu, Victor, & Klonsky, 2016). It contains empirical evidence on the emotional attributes and experiences of individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD). I have chosen this article because I am interested in gaining more insights into BPD symptoms. I have conducted an online search in the EBSCO research database to find relevant sources on BPD. Moreover, I narrowed down the search to peer-reviewed journal articles on the topic to ensure that my review is based on a plausible study.

Theoretical Background

The research in the article is based on the affect theory. The researchers sought to determine whether BPD is correlated with disturbances in the positive and negative emotions of patients (Chu et al., 2016). Notably, the affect theory is applicable to organizing people’s emotions into categories based on psychological, interpersonal, social, and suppressed manifestations (Jones, 2014). The scholars particularly attempted to establish the relationship between BPD and the dampening of people’s response to emotional stimuli of different valences such as neutral, pleasant, and unpleasant (Chu et al., 2016).

Research Design and Focus

The scholars used an experimental design to measure the emotional characteristics and experiences of during 2 weeks (Chu et al., 2016). The study design enabled the researchers to rate the emotions of participants in different conditions. Campbell and Stanley (2015) demonstrated that experimental design is advantageous because it allows scholars to control research variables without affecting the validity of findings. Chu et al. (2016) controlled their experiment by including participants with subclinical symptoms and features of BPD such as emotional difficulties. The investigators focused on rating the emotions of study participants in terms of intensity, frequency, and duration (Chu et al., 2016).


Due to the experimental study, researchers concluded that the most distinguishing characteristic of people with BPD is elevated negative emotions (Chu et al., 2016). The inferences of the scholars are compelling because they were based on a comprehensive assessment of the emotional experiences of participants both prospectively and retrospectively. The researchers also evaluated the participants’ psychological conditions in the context of multiple emotional states (Chu et al., 2016). The study revealed that people with BPD experience negative and positive emotions in varying levels. The scholars also concluded that the models of BPD diagnosis should be mainly focused on assessing patients’ negative emotions.


The article contains reliable research evidence because the investigators conducted daily assessments of the experiences of individuals with BPD to obtain consistent findings on the regularity and intensity of their emotions. In addition, study findings in the article are consistent with previous research which shows that in individuals with BPD, negative emotions are more intense and frequent than positive ones (Sadikaj, Russell, Moskowitz, & Paris, 2010). The scholars used a highly functioning sample to evaluate the affective symptoms of individuals with BPD with more accuracy (Chu et al., 2016). Nonetheless, the reported findings may have discrepancies in the variability of positive and negative emotions in people with BPD since the scholars did not use a clinical sample. The article is helpful because I plan to use the research evidence it contains as a basis for exploring the potential moderating and mediating factors which may mitigate or exacerbate the emotional challenges of individuals with BPD.


Campbell, D. T., & Stanley, J. C. (2015). Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for research. Cambridge: Ravenio Books.

Chu, C., Victor, S. E., & Klonsky, E. D. (2016). Characterizing positive and negative emotional experiences in young adults with borderline personality disorder symptoms. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 72(9), 956–965.

Jones, J. M. (2014). Affects as process: An inquiry into the centrality of affect in psychological life. Abingdon: Routledge.

Sadikaj, G., Russell, J., Moskowitz, D. S., & Paris, J. (2010). Affect dysregulation in individuals with borderline personality disorder: Persistence and interpersonal triggers. Journal of Personality Assessment, 92(6), 490–500.

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