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Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 2075-3470

ISSN (online): 2311-9446


License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published since 1992

Published quarterly

Free of fees
Open Access Journal


The reasons of self-injurious behavior in youth (based on a self-report scale) 3917


Polskaya N.A.
Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Chair of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia

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.

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

Column: Empirical Researches

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