Contextual Features and Behavioral Functions of Self-Mutilation Among Adolescents.

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Journal of Abnormal Psychology (Impact Factor: 5.15). 03/2005; 114(1):140-6. DOI: 10.1037/0021-843X.114.1.140
Source: PubMed


Adolescent self-mutilative behavior (SMB) is a pervasive and dangerous problem, yet factors influencing the performance of SMB are not well understood. The authors examined the contextual features and behavioral functions of SMB in a sample of 89 adolescent psychiatric inpatients. SMB typically was performed impulsively, in the absence of physical pain, and without the use of alcohol or drugs. Moreover, analyses supported the construct validity of a functional model in which adolescents reported engaging in SMB for both automatic and social reinforcement. Considering the functions of SMB clarified the relations between SMB and other clinical constructs reported in previous studies such as suicide attempts, posttraumatic stress, and social concerns and has direct implications for the assessment and treatment of SMB.

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Available from: Mitchell J Prinstein
    • "Theoretical work in the field also supports the idea that self-harm often serves multiple functions (Brown, Comtois, & Linehan, 2002; Haines, Williams, Brain, & Brown, 1995 ), and that it is important to distinguish between interpersonal and intrapersonal/automatic functions (Klonsky & Glenn, 2009; Nock & Prinstein, 2004). In addition, this work suggests that considering the functions of selfharm may be particularly relevant within a clinical context as the functions may have implications not only for the assessment but also the treatment of self-harm (Nock & Prinstein, 2005). These findings are unfortunately in stark contrast to the view often expressed by professionals, who perceive adolescent self-harm as being driven by a wish to manipulate others (see Hawton et al., 1982; Schnyder, Vlach, Bichsel, & Konrad, 1999). "

    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Crisis The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention
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    • "NON-SUICIDAL SELF-INJURY SCARS PREDICT SUICIDE RISK 4 2007; Whitlock et al., 2013). Beyond presence versus absence of NSSI, NSSI frequency, and methods, far less research has examined the relationship between alternative specific characteristics of NSSI and suicide-relevant outcomes, such as the impact of NSSI pain experience, functions, and context of the behavior (Glenn and Klonsky, 2008; Nock and Prinstein, 2005; Paul et al., 2015). Therefore, given that a significant proportion of those with a history of NSSI do not report STBs (Whitlock et al., 2013), significantly more research is needed to identify unique characteristics of NSSI that help clinicians to better determine high-risk cases. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Suicide risk is challenging to quantify due to reliance on self-report, which is limited by individuals’ lack of insight and the desire to conceal such intentions. Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is one of the most robust predictors of suicidal ideation (SI) and suicide attempts (SA). Although NSSI often leads to permanent scarring, which can be assessed by objective physical examination, no research has examined whether scarring denotes tangible risk for SI and SA. The present study examined whether NSSI scar presence and number predict current SI and SA history. Further, we examined whether brooding would exacerbate the effects of NSSI scarring on SI or SA. Methods. Young adults (N = 231; M = 21.24 years; 78% female) completed self-report questionnaires assessing SA history, frequency of NSSI, presence/number of NSSI scars, brooding, current depressive symptoms, and SI. Results. NSSI scar presence and number predicted current SI and SA history after controlling for current depressive symptoms. Moreover, scar presence and number predicted current SI over and above the effects of SA history and NSSI frequency, method, and medical severity. Further, NSSI scar presence and number predicted SI more strongly among individuals with greater levels of brooding than among individuals with lower levels of brooding. Conclusions. The presence and number of NSSI scars are objective physical indicators of risk for SI and SAs. Brooding may further heighten the risk of SI for individuals bearing NSSI scars.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Comprehensive Psychiatry
    • "Recent research, found that individuals who engage in NSSI are more likely to engage in other impulsive behaviors, including binge eating, alcohol and/or drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, gambling, and others (Evans and Lacey, 1992; Herpertz et al., 1997). In addition, there is evidence that many self-injurers spend less than 5 min contemplating a self-injurious act (Nock and Prinstein, 2005). Thus, Impulsivity is a factor often referred to as being associated with NSSI (Hawton, 2002; Claes et al., 2010; Madge et al., 2011), with individuals who self-harm reporting more impulsivity than those who do not (Janis and Nock, 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is the deliberate, self-inflicted destruction of body tissue without suicidal intent and an important clinical phenomenon. Rates of NSSI appear to be disproportionately high in adolescents and young adults, and is a risk factor for suicidal ideation and behavior. The present study reports the psychometric properties of the Impulse, Self-harm and Suicide Ideation Questionnaire for Adolescents (ISSIQ-A), a measure designed to comprehensively assess the impulsivity, NSSI behaviors and suicide ideation. An additional module of this questionnaire assesses the functions of NSSI. Results of Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) of the scale on 1722 youths showed items' suitability and confirmed a model of four different dimensions (Impulse, Self-harm, Risk-behavior and Suicide ideation) with good fit and validity. Further analysis showed that youth׳s engagement in self-harm may exert two different functions: to create or alleviate emotional states, and to influence social relationships. Our findings contribute to research and assessment on non-suicidal self-injury, suggesting that the ISSIQ-A is a valid and reliable measure to assess impulse, self-harm and suicidal thoughts, in adolescence. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015
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