Data from general psychology suggest that body self-evaluation is linked to self-esteem and social emotions. Although these emotions are fragile in individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD), body self-evaluation is clearly understudied in BPD research.
A total of 200 women took part in the study: 80 female BPD patients, and 47 healthy and 73 clinical controls including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after childhood sexual abuse (CSA). Diagnoses were established through standardised interviews conducted by experienced psychologists. The participants used the Survey of Body Areas to indicate which areas of their own bodies they liked or disliked and to mark the locations of physical scars.
Compared to healthy controls, both BPD patients and patients with PTSD after CSA had a predominantly negative body self-evaluation (Cohens d=1.42 and 1.38, respectively). As indicated by multilevel analyses, scars were related to a negative evaluation of the affected areas in BPD patients, but not in the control groups. Subgroup analyses revealed that the negative body self-evaluation app ... mehrlies to both BPD patients with and without PTSD or reported CSA.
BPD patients show a negative body self-evaluation which is associated with the presence of scars but not with CSA.