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Potential Risk Factors for Nonsuicidal Self-Injury

Psychiatry Res; ePub 2017 Nov 30; Fox, et al

Findings of a recent study provide support that erosion of barriers to nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) (eg, aversion to self-injurious stimuli, decreased self-worth) may facilitate continued engagement in these dangerous behaviors. This study investigated diminished aversion toward self-injury (ie, NSSI, suicide/death-related stimuli) and self-criticism as unique NSSI risk factors. After terminating a treatment study, 154 adults with a recent and frequent NSSI history completed self-report and computer-based measures of psychopathology, implicit and explicit self-criticism, and implicit aversion to NSSI and death related stimuli. Participants were then contacted 4 weeks later to test factors predicting NSSI frequency over this follow-up period. Researchers found:

  • Diminished aversion toward NSSI stimuli and self-criticism significantly predicted NSSI 4 weeks later.
  • These effects were unique from other theoretically important predictors, such as past week NSSI frequency and number of NSSI methods employed.

Citation:

Fox KR, Robiero JD, Kleiman EM, Hooley JM, Nock MK, Franklin JC. Affect toward the self and self-injury stimuli as potential risk factors for nonsuicidal self-injury. [Published online ahead of print November 30, 2017]. Psychiatry Res. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2017.11.083.

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