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Arch Suicide Res. 2019 Jan 13:1-24. doi: 10.1080/13811118.2018.1563575. [Epub ahead of print]

Self-harm, Emotion Regulation, and Experiential Avoidance: A Systematic Review.

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a School of Psychology , Fairleigh Dickinson University , Teaneck , NJ , USA.


This study aimed to systemically review the literature regarding self-harm, emotion regulation, and experiential avoidance. Articles were identified through systematic searches of several databases using combinations of the phrases "emotion regulation" AND "experiential avoidance" AND "self-harm," or "self-injury," and "BPD" or "Borderline Personality Disorder." Additional searches were conducted inclusive of terms related to experiential avoidance and emotion regulation, as well as other disorders related to self-harm. 17 articles were identified and reviewed. Results tentatively support the role of experiential avoidance in self-harm; some studies described phenomena similar to experiential avoidance without using the term. Poor emotion regulation was often cited as a reason for engagement in self-harm. Several gaps in the literature were identified and discussed.


borderline personality disorder; emotion regulation; experiential avoidance; self-harm

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