Sleep, Emotion Dysregulation, and Nonsuicidal Self-Injury in Adolescents
Carter, Mikaela Louise
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CitationCarter, Mikaela Louise. 2018. Sleep, Emotion Dysregulation, and Nonsuicidal Self-Injury in Adolescents. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
AbstractIntroduction: Numerous biological and psychosocial changes typical of adolescence combine such that adolescents get significantly less sleep than they need. Sleep deprivation is associated with emotion regulation deficits and most adolescents who engage in NSSI report doing so for emotion regulation reasons. Accordingly, adolescents may be especially likely to turn to NSSI under conditions of chronic sleep deprivation, where more adaptive emotion regulation strategies seem inaccessible. Method: Forty adolescents (12-19 years) completed self-report questionnaires and an in-person interview during a one-time lab visit. Correlational analyses assessed the associations between sleep deprivation (measured in self-reported sleep duration and perceived insufficient sleep), emotion dysregulation and NSSI engagement (ever or never). Results: Perceived insufficient sleep, but not sleep duration, was associated with both emotion dysregulation and NSSI engagement. Mediation analyses revealed that emotion dysregulation fully accounted for the relationship between perceived insufficient sleep and NSSI. Conclusions: Results suggest that sleep deprivation may confer risk for NSSI via emotion dysregulation, though further research is needed to confirm directionality. Insights gained from this study may inform the development of prevention and treatment interventions for NSSI in adolescents.
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