DOI: 10.1101/452607Oct 29, 2018Paper

Differential Effects of the Menstrual Cycle on Reactive and Proactive Aggression in Borderline Personality Disorder

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Jessica R PetersTory A Eisenlohr-Moul


Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is characterized by rapidly shifting symptoms, including intense anger and aggressive behavior. Understanding how fluctuations in ovarian hormones across the menstrual cycle may contribute to symptom instability is key for accurate assessment of BPD symptoms and effective interventions. Reactive and proactive aggression, as well as anger in and out, were assessed daily in 15 physically healthy, unmedicated naturally cycling female individuals without dysmenorrhea meeting criteria for BPD across 35 days. Urine LH surge and salivary progesterone were used to confirm ovulation and verify cycle phase. Cyclical worsening of symptoms was evaluated using multilevel models to evaluate symptom differences between cycle phases. Both forms of aggressive behavior demonstrated marked cycle effects, with reactive aggression highest during perimenstrual cycle phases, co-occurring with increases in anger in and out. In contrast, highest levels of proactive aggression were observed during the follicular and ovulatory phases, when emotional symptoms and anger were otherwise at lowest levels. These findings highlight the importance of identifying the function of aggression when considering potential psycholog...Continue Reading

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