Three Tests of the Benefits and Barriers Model of Nonsuicidal Self-Injury
Fox, Kathryn Rebecca
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CitationFox, Kathryn Rebecca. 2019. Three Tests of the Benefits and Barriers Model of Nonsuicidal Self-Injury. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractNonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI; e.g., self-cutting) includes harmful behaviors that are self-inflicted in the absence of suicidal intent. Even though NSSI typically involves painful and stigmatized behaviors, NSSI is alarmingly common and most people who engage in these behaviors report that doing so helps them to feel better. Building upon a recently proposed theory, the Benefits and Barriers Model, the present dissertation sought to provide insights into who is at risk for engaging in NSSI and into why NSSI serves as an emotion regulation strategy. The Benefits and Barriers Model proposes that NSSI can produce several positive consequences, but that critical barriers keep most people from engaging in these behaviors. Shedding light on who is at risk for engaging in NSSI, results of this dissertation suggested that erosion of two proposed barriers, self-worth and aversion toward self-harming stimuli, may be risk factors for continued NSSI engagement (Study 1). Providing insight into why self-criticism may be a NSSI risk factor, results indicated that self-criticism affects aspects of pain processing among people who do (Study 2) and do not (Study 3) engage in NSSI. Results imply that self-criticism may lower a key NSSI barrier, pain, and that self-criticism may alter the mood benefits of NSSI. Taken together, findings support key aspects of the Benefits and Barriers Model of NSSI.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:42013066
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