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19-12-2015 | Original Paper | Uitgave 5/2016

Journal of Child and Family Studies 5/2016

The Indirect Effect of Early Experiences on Deliberate Self-Harm in Adolescence: Mediation by Negative Emotional States and Moderation by Daily Peer Hassles

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 5/2016
Auteurs:
Ana Xavier, Marina Cunha, José Pinto-Gouveia

Abstract

The present study examines whether early experiences of threat, subordination and devaluation with family influence adolescents’ negative emotional states and subsequently deliberate self-harm; and if this effect is conditioned by daily peer hassles. The sample consisted of 441 adolescents (57.6 % female) with ages between 13 and 18 years old from middle and high schools. Participants completed self-report instruments measuring early memories of threat, subordination and devaluation, daily peer hassles, negative affect and deliberate self-harm behaviors. Results from conditional process analysis showed that adolescents who feel devalued and experience threat and submission within family tend to endorse high levels of negative affect, which in turn accounts for increased endorsements on deliberate self-harm. Moreover, the impact of negative affect on deliberate self-harm is amplified by the presence of moderate and high levels of daily peer hassles. This study suggests the relevance of assessing and intervening on type of emotional memories (i.e., threat, subordination and devaluation), daily disruptions with peers and negative emotional states with adolescents who self-injure. These findings may be useful in the development of preventive and intervention programs for reducing deliberate self-harm in adolescence.

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