In Eating-Disordered Inpatient Adolescents, Self-Criticism Predicts Nonsuicidal Self-Injury

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Abstract

We examined the role of depressive traits—self-criticism and dependency—in nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) and suicidal ideation among inpatient adolescents with eating disorders. In two studies (N = 103 and 55), inpatients were assessed for depressive traits, suicidal ideations, and NSSI. In Study 2, motivation for carrying out NSSI was also assessed. In both studies, depression predicted suicidal ideation and self-criticism predicted NSSI. In Study 2, depression and suicidal ideation also predicted NSSI. The automatic positive motivation for NSSI was predicted by dependency and depressive symptoms, and by a two-way interaction between self-criticism and dependency. Consistent with the “self-punishment model,” self-criticism appears to constitute a dimension of vulnerability for NSSI.

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