The reasons of self-injurious behavior in youth (based on a self-report scale)



The article presents the results of the pilot study investigating the psychological mechanisms of self-injurious behavior. The research tool is the scale of reasons of self-injurious behavior developed by the author. It is hypothesized that self-injuries in youth constitute a reaction to acute internal ill-being and provide a regulatory function, that is, by the means of self-injuring one takes control over his/her psychological state and behavior or searches social support in relationships with significant others and draws attention to him/herself. In the structure of processes of psychological regulation self-injury can represent a means of controlling of the self and the behavior of the others. Research sample consists of 60 students, age 16—21. Connections between self-injuries and psychological reasons explaining them are investigated. The regulative structure of self-injurious behavior is revealed in four factors: influencing the others, reducing tension, modifying self (searching for new experience) and regaining control of emotions.

General Information

Keywords: self-injurious behavior, youth, identity, behavior control, self-regulation

Journal rubric: Empirical Researches

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Polskaya N.A. The reasons of self-injurious behavior in youth (based on a self-report scale) . Konsul'tativnaya psikhologiya i psikhoterapiya = Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy, 2014. Vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 140–152. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Natalia A. Polskaya, Doctor of Psychology, Associate Professor, Professor of the Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy Department, Faculty of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Leading Researcher, Scientific and Practical Center for Mental Health of Children and Adolescents named after G.E. Sukhareva of the Moscow Department of Public Health, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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