borderline personality disorder; retaliatory aggression; motivations; social media


Social media has become a popular way of connecting with people, but it has also led to an increase in cyber aggression. Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a condition that is characterized by retaliatory aggression, difficulty in interpersonal relationships, and high impulsivity. Those who endorse BPD symptoms experience unstable interpersonal relationships and struggle to maintain connections with others which can lead to problematic behaviors on social media like retaliatory aggression. Understanding the motivations behind those behaviors can help inform the experiences of the diagnosed population, mitigate problematic behaviors, and facilitate healthy social relationships. This study aims to explore the motivations that BPD symptom endorsers most identify with, such as self-protection, affiliation, and status, and the prevalence of retaliatory aggression on social media. The participants completed a self-report survey that measured their motivations, online revenge behaviors, and BPD symptom endorsement. Retaliatory aggression was also positively related to the status motivation. Results indicated self-protection had a moderating effect on the relationship between borderline symptom endorsement and retaliatory aggression. The findings of this study will help to strengthen existing literature about BPD features of impulsivity and reactivity and inform treatment and therapeutic methods by identifying the motivation behind retaliation for those who exhibit symptoms of BPD. It will also have clinical implications for how social media use is advised and addressed. Future research should seek to identify what other motivations are attributed to retaliatory aggression and expand the population to include more genders and cultures.

Thesis Completion Year


Thesis Completion Semester


Thesis Chair

White, Grace


College of Sciences



Thesis Discipline




Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus Access


Campus Location

UCF Online



Rights Statement

In Copyright