Nonsuicidal Self-injury as a Risk Factor for Purging Onset: Negatively Reinforced Behaviours that Reduce Emotional Distress

Elizabeth N. Riley, Heather A. Davis, Jessica L. Combs, Carol E. Jordan, Gregory T. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Both nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) and purging behaviour are thought to involve harm to the self. The acquired capability for self-harm model holds that engaging in one self-harming behaviour increases the capability to tolerate harm to the self, thus increasing risk for engaging on other such behaviours. In addition, both behaviours are thought to serve the similar function of relief from distress. We thus tested whether engagement in one of these behaviours predicts the subsequent onset of the other. In a longitudinal design, 1158 first-year college women were assessed for purging and NSSI at two time points. Engagement in NSSI at time 1 predicted the college onset of purging behaviour 9 months later (OR = 2.20, p < .04, CI = 1.07-4.19) beyond prediction from time 1 binge behaviour, and purging behaviour at time 1 predicted the subsequent onset of NSSI (OR = 6.54, p < .01, CI = 1.71-25.04). These findings are consistent with the acquired capability for harm model and with the possibility that the two behaviours serve a similar function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-82
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Eating Disorders Review
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.

Keywords

  • NSSI
  • longitudinal
  • onset
  • purging
  • risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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