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Self-harm: interpersonal and holistic perspectives
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work, Örebro University, Sweden.
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Who are the adolescents who purposely cut or burn their wrists, arms, or some other parts of their body? The fundamental question I raise in this dissertation is whether or not the portrait of self-harming adolescents as being exposed to others’ hostility in their everyday life environments and experiencing internal adjustment problems, particularly depressive symptoms, correctly represents their symptomology. I want to answer three questions: 1) What can be done to interrupt the maladaptive link that leads adolescents who experience internalizing symptoms to perform self-harming behaviors? 2) Are adolescent self-harmers typically exposed to others’ hostility or are they also involved in hostile interactions with other people? and, 3) What are the critical interpersonal and adjustment features of adolescent selfharmers? The results show that: 1) Adolescent girls with high depressive symptoms who feel at ease communicating with their parents do not use selfharm as a coping strategy when facing negative emotional experiences to the same extent as girls with high depressive symptoms who do not experience communication with parents as easy; 2) Adolescents who are involved in mutually hostile relationships with people who they meet in their daily life express more self-harming behaviors than adolescents who are exposed to others’ hostility; and, 3) Living in mutually hostile interactions with other people and experiencing both internalizing and externalizing problems seem to be key features of adolescents who harm themselves. Taken together, the results of this dissertation go beyond the traditional representation of selfharmers, and offer a holistic way of identifying a problem scenario under which adolescents self-harm. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro university , 2016. , 69 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Psychology, ISSN 1651-1328 ; 35
Keyword [en]
self-harming behaviors, relational problems, psychosocial maladjustment, ease of communication with parents, holistic perspective
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-47312ISBN: 978-91-7529-114-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-47312DiVA: diva2:890526
Public defence
2016-02-12, Långhuset, Hörsal 3, Örebro universitet, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 09:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-01-04 Created: 2016-01-04 Last updated: 2016-02-01Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Do friends' co-rumination and communication with parents prevent depressed adolescents from self-harm?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Do friends' co-rumination and communication with parents prevent depressed adolescents from self-harm?
2015 (English)In: Journal of applied developmental psychology, ISSN 0193-3973, E-ISSN 1873-7900, Vol. 41, 120-128 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study examines the role of both ease of communication with parents and co-rumination with one's best friend in the link between depressive symptoms and self-harm in a sample of Italian adolescents. Furthermore, it analyzes the possible differences between boys and girls in this link. Questionnaires were administered at a six-month interval at 711 adolescents attending three different schools (Mage=15.53). Moderation and multiple-group analyses were conducted using a path approach. Results showed both ease of communication with parents and co-rumination with one's best friend decreasing the likelihood of engaging in self-harm. Depressed adolescents were less likely to develop self-harm when they perceived communication with parents as easy. Multiple-group analysis verified this relation only for girls. The findings highlight the importance of interpersonal relationships in decreasing the likelihood of engaging in self-harm, and stress the role of a positive family setting in helping particularly depressed girls not to self-harm.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2015
Keyword
Self-harm; Adolescence; Communication with parents; Co-rumination with best friend; Depressive symptoms
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-46886 (URN)10.1016/j.appdev.2015.10.001 (DOI)000366078700013 ()2-s2.0-84947444812 (Scopus ID)
Note

Funding Agency:

L'Oreal Italy S.p.A.

Available from: 2015-11-30 Created: 2015-11-30 Last updated: 2016-01-22Bibliographically approved
2. Toward a reinterpretation of self-harm: A cross-contextual approach
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Toward a reinterpretation of self-harm: A cross-contextual approach
(English)Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-47738 (URN)
Available from: 2016-01-22 Created: 2016-01-22 Last updated: 2016-01-22Bibliographically approved
3. Adolescents who self-harm: A holistic perspective on their interpersonal and adjustment problems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Adolescents who self-harm: A holistic perspective on their interpersonal and adjustment problems
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-47739 (URN)
Available from: 2016-01-22 Created: 2016-01-22 Last updated: 2016-01-22Bibliographically approved

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