Attachment style and alexithymia as predictors of non-suicidal self-injury in young adults: A pilot study

Oskis, Andrea ORCID: and Borrill, Jo (2019) Attachment style and alexithymia as predictors of non-suicidal self-injury in young adults: A pilot study. Maltrattamento E Abuso All’infanzia: Rivista Interdisciplinare | Child Abuse and Maltreatment: Interdisciplinary Journal, 21 (1) . pp. 11-21. ISSN 1591-4267 (doi:10.3280/MAL2019-001002)

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Pathways from childhood trauma to non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) include those high-lighting emotional regulation and attachment, which have been supported by research in-vestigating the functions of NSSI. This pilot study sought to explore this further into this by examining which specific dimensions of attachment style and alexithymia predict self-injurious behaviour. Twenty-six young adults [mean (± SD) age 21.08 (± 3.95)], with ex-perience of NSSI were compared to a matched control group. The Toronto Alexithymia Scale and the Attachment Style Interview (ASI) were used. Findings revealed significantly greater levels of alexithymia, particularly the “difficulty identifying feelings” factor, in those with NSSI compared to the control group, as well as higher rates of insecure attach-ment style, particularly fearful insecure style. Examination of specific dimensions revealed ASI scales of “constraints on closeness” and “fear of rejection” providing the best model of NSSI. These findings provide empirical support for the affect regulatory function of self-injury, but also highlight the importance of the interpersonal boundaries function, which may provide a useful focus for treatment or intervention.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
Item ID: 27021
Notes on copyright: © FrancoAngeli
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Depositing User: Andrea Oskis
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2019 15:03
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2019 19:25

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