An Ecological Investigation of the Emotional Context Surrounding Nonsuicidal Self-Injurious Thoughts and Behaviors in Adolescents and Young Adults

Amy Kranzler, Kara B. Fehling, Janne Lindqvist, Julia Brillante, Fengpeng Yuan, Xianyi Gao, Alec L. Miller, Edward A. Selby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) methodology was used to examine the emotional context of nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI). Forty-seven adolescents and young adults used a novel smartphone app to monitor their emotional experiences, NSSI thoughts, and NSSI behaviors for 2 weeks. Momentary changes in both negative and positive emotions predicted greater intensity of NSSI thoughts at the subsequent assessment, while only increases in negative emotion predicted NSSI behaviors. Immediately following NSSI behaviors participants reported reduced high-arousal negative emotions and increased low-arousal positive emotions, suggesting that NSSI may be an efficient and effective method of regulating emotion. Findings highlight the importance of addressing emotion regulation in NSSI interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-159
Number of pages11
JournalSuicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
Volume48
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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