Dhingra, Katie, Totterdell, Peter, Tantam, Digby and Naylor, Paul (2011) Emotion Regulation of Self and Others in Non-suicidal Self-injury (NSSI). In: The annual meeting of the International Society for the Study of Self-Injury, June 26-27 2011, New York, NY. (Unpublished)

Emotion regulation involves the regulation of one's own emotions (intrapersonal emotion regulation) or other people's emotions (interpersonal emotion regulation). Studies of emotion regulation in NSSI have usually assessed dysfunctionality in the strategies used to improve affect, but recent research has shown that individuals may sometimes also intentionally worsen their own (Riediger et al., 2009) and other people’s affect (Niven et al., 2009), often for instrumental or self-identity purposes. This paper presents the findings of a study exploring differences in the use of regulation strategies between students with (n = 123) and without (n = 37) a NSSI history. Results indicated that self-injurers make greater use of strategies intended to worsen their own affect relative to non-injurers. Further analyses explored how regulation relates to NSSI characteristics. Overall, results suggest that use of intrinsic worsening strategies may contribute more strongly to NSSI behaviour than affect-improving strategies.

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