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Can J Psychiatry. 2014 Nov;59(11):569-75.

Expanding and clarifying the role of emotion regulation in nonsuicidal self-injury.

Author information

1
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Fordham University, Bronx, New York.
2
Doctoral Student, Department of Psychology, Fordham University, Bronx, New York.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Deficits in emotion regulation have been implicated in nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) by both theory and research. Research indicates that NSSI is commonly performed as an emotion regulation strategy, as it often decreases the experience of negative affect. People who engage in NSSI often report greater emotion dysregulation than those without an NSSI history. Further, interventions that have demonstrated effectiveness in reducing NSSI involve a focus on emotion regulation skills. Given the important role of emotion regulation in NSSI, research should continue to develop our understanding of this construct.

METHODS:

We conducted a review of relevant research in emotion regulation and dysregulation and specific emotion regulation strategies in NSSI.

RESULTS:

First, we provide an overview of current research on emotion regulation and dysregulation in NSSI. Second, we discuss the application of a specific emotion regulation model to NSSI research, and review research on NSSI supporting the use of this model.

CONCLUSION:

NSSI has been associated with an emotion regulation function and trait emotion dysregulation among people who self-injure. Relevant research provides initial support for the applicability of a specific model of emotion regulation to NSSI. We suggest directions for future research to continue to cultivate our understanding of emotion regulation in NSSI.

PMID:
25565472
PMCID:
PMC4244875
DOI:
10.1177/070674371405901102
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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