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05-08-2019 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 9/2019

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 9/2019

Peer Acceptance and Nonsuicidal Self-injury among Chinese Adolescents: A Longitudinal Moderated Mediation Model

Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 9/2019
Nini Wu, Yang Hou, Peiyi Chen, Jianing You
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Peer relationship plays an important role in non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI). However, little is known about how and in what conditions peer relationship may influence NSSI. By integrating multiple theories (i.e., attachment theory, the emotional regulation model of self-compassion and NSSI, and the differential-susceptibility theory), the current study investigated two potential mediators (i.e., self-compassion and depressive symptoms) and one potential moderator (i.e., behavioral impulsivity) of the relation between peer acceptance and NSSI. Participants were 813 Chinese adolescents (43% female; Mage at Wave 1 = 13.15 years) from a two-wave longitudinal study with data spanning one year. The results revealed that the indirect pathways linking peer acceptance and NSSI were conditioned on the level of behavioral impulsivity. Specifically, for adolescents with lower levels of impulsivity, a higher level of peer acceptance was related to fewer depressive symptoms directly or indirectly through self-compassion; fewer depressive symptoms, in turn, were linked to fewer NSSI behaviors longitudinally. For adolescents with higher levels of behavioral impulsivity, peer acceptance was related to fewer NSSI behaviors only through self-compassion. Results indicate that increasing peer acceptance is important in reducing adolescent NSSI. Interventions designed to reduce adolescent NSSI may also be effective if they focus on promoting adolescent self-compassion, particularly for adolescents with higher levels of behavioral impulsivity.

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