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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

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Open Access Journal


Emotion Dysregulation in the Structure of Self-Injurious Behavior 2573


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

We present the results of the research of the link between emotion regulation and self-injurious behavior. The sample consisted of 706 respondents aged 14—35 (467 female). Methods: Emotion Dysregulation Questionnaire (Polskaya, Razvaliaeva, 2017), Reasons for Self-Injury Scale (Polskaya, 2017), Coping Behavior Strategies Questionnaire (Vasserman et al., 2008), Psychological Mindedness Scale (Novikova, Kornilova, 2014), Positive and Negative Affect Scale (Osin, 2012). Results: we found out that self-injury is more frequent in females, self-injury risk is most severe at 14—21 years. Significant relationships were yielded for self-injurious behavior, emotion dysregulation, hindered awareness and access to emotions, and coping strategies — confrontation, avoidance, self-control, and responsibility. Regression analysis showed that avoidance as a strategy of emotion dysregulation mediates the influence of negative affect on self-injurious behavior; another form of emotion dysregulation — rumination — predicts the increase of negative and the decrease of positive affect. Conclusions: emotion dysregulation underlies the cycle of negative affect aggravation that leads to self-injury. Adolescence and youth are the most dangerous ages when self-injury is used for negative affect regulation.

Keywords: emotion dysregulation, self-injurious behavior, coping, negative and positive affect, psychological mindedness

Column: Empirical Researches


Acknowledgements. This article was prepared with the financial support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), project № 16-06-01098 “Emotional self-regulation in the structure of self-injurious behavior”.

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