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Ind Psychiatry J. 2018 Jan-Jun;27(1):67-72. doi: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_2_18.

Proactive coping style and intentional self-harm: A cross-sectional study.

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Department of Psychiatry, Base Hospital Delhi Cantt, New Delhi, India.



Coping style adopted by a person has been identified as an important factor in precipitating or preventing an intentional self-harm attempt. While the influence of reactive coping has received lot of research attention, effects of proactive coping on suicidal behavior has not been studied, even though it is known that proactive coping is associated with better mental health. The authors in the current study sought to investigate the relationship of proactive coping style with attempted deliberate self-harm.

Materials and Methods:

A total of 44 individuals who presented with intentional self-harm were compared with age, sex, marital status, and education-matched healthy controls. Pierce Suicide Intent Scale was used to ascertain suicidal intent, and Proactive Coping Inventory was used to assess proactive coping.


There were no significant differences between subjects and controls for proactive coping, preventive coping, emotional support seeking, avoidance coping, and instrumental support seeking. However, participants scored higher in strategic planning (P = 0.027).


Proactive coping has no significant relationship with intentional self-harm; however, more studies with better designs are needed to comment conclusively.


Intentional self harm; proactive coping style; suicide prevention

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