Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Restrictive Eating, Non-Suicidal Self Injury Link

Compr Psychiatry; ePub 2018 Feb 11; Wang, et al

A recent study highlights the seriousness of restrictive eating, even within a nonclinical sample, as it is associated with heightened probability of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) and clinical severity among those who engage in co-morbid NSSI. Therefore, it is suggested that healthcare providers screen for NSSI among individuals with restrictive eating. This study examined cross-sectional associations between self-reported restrictive eating, NSSI, and putative mechanisms of emotion regulation and interpersonal problems in a non-clinical sample of undergraduate students (n=98, 80.6% female), using the Dietary Restriction Screener, Deliberate Self-Harm Inventory, Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale, and Inventory of Interpersonal Problems-Personality Disorders-25. They found:

  • Hierarchical logistic regression analyses indicated that restrictive eating was associated with NSSI above and beyond the influence of binge eating, purging, and relevant covariates.
  • In addition, multivariate analyses of variance revealed that the co-occurrence of restrictive eating and NSSI was associated with greater difficulties accessing and implementing effective, rather than impulsive, emotion regulation strategies when distressed than either behavior alone.

Wang SB, Pisetsky EM, Skutch JM, Fruzzetti AF, Haynos AF. Restrictive eating and nonsuicidal self-injury in a nonclinical sample: Co-occurrence and associations with emotion dysregulation and interpersonal problems. [Published online ahead of print February 11, 2018]. Comp Psychiatry. doi:10.1016/j.comppsych.2018.02.005.