Autoaggressive Non-Suicidal Behavior as the Way of Coping with Negative Emotions



Due to the increasing rhythm and tempo of the contemporary life the feeling of stress and pressure increases as well. Especially one feels it in teen years and youth. To be able to somehow master and contain the inner changes and the pressures from the outside the resulting in feeling of inner pressure and intolerableness of the world the teenagers and youths may resort to smoking, drugs, aggressive and autoaggressive behavior. One can distinguish between suicidal, self-destructive (suicidal equivalents), self-harming types of behavior. Harming oneself may be seen as a method of dealing with negative emotions. The study of the characteristics of emotional regulation and mastering strategies among the teenagers and young people of non-clinical sample included 248 persons (128 young men and 120 young women). The average age 19,4 years. The methods used were as follows. To define the level of behavior with deliberate self-harming we used the Russian version of questionnaire The Deliberate Self-Harm Inventory (DSHI). The Suicidal Behaviors Questionnaire-Revised (SBQ-R) was used to control the presence or absence of suicidal tendencies. And The Positive and Negative Affect Schedule-Expanded (PANAS-X) was applied to identify separate parameters of emotional states. While the choice of the concrete mastering strategies was assessed with the help of the COPE method. The research showed significant differences in the parameters of negative emotional characteristics between the autoaggressors and the persons who never performed any autoaggressive actions. Moreover the "recent autoaggressors" showed a much higher level of the expressed negative emotions than the "old ones". It was confirmed that autoaggressors use a singular model of evasion where the key aspects of self-harming behavior would be the hightened level of negative emotions. It was found that autoaggressors choose non-adaptive coping strategies more often than the participants of the normative test-group.

General Information

Keywords: autoaggressive non-suicidal behavior, autoaggressors, negative emotions, coping-strategies.

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Abramova A., Enikolopov S.N., Efremov A.G., Kuznetsova S.O. Autoaggressive Non-Suicidal Behavior as the Way of Coping with Negative Emotions [Elektronnyi resurs]. Klinicheskaia i spetsial'naia psikhologiia = Clinical Psychology and Special Education, 2018. Vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 21–40. DOI: 10.17759/cpse.2018070202. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Aida Abramova, PhD in Psychology, senior research scientist, The Mental Health Research Center, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:

Sergey N. Enikolopov, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Head of Department of Clinical Psychology, Mental Health Research Center, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Aleksandr G. Efremov, PhD in Psychology, Senior Researcher, Department of Medical Psychology, Mental Health Research Center (MHRC), Moscow, Russia, e-mail:

Svetlana O. Kuznetsova, PhD in Psychology, senior research scientistsenior research scientist, Mental Health Research Center, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:



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