Deliberate self-injury functions and their clinical correlates among adolescent psychiatric inpatients
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Uniwersytet Gdański
Oddział Terapii Uzależnienia od Alkoholu, Wojewódzki Szpital Psychiatryczny im. Prof. Tadeusza Bilikiewicza w Gdańsku
Submission date: 2015-11-27
Final revision date: 2016-06-10
Acceptance date: 2016-06-21
Online publication date: 2017-04-30
Publication date: 2017-04-30
Corresponding author
Wioletta Radziwiłłowicz   

Uniwersytet Gdański, Gdańsk, 00-000 Gdańsk, Polska
Psychiatr Pol 2017;51(2):303-322
The aim of the study was to analyze the relationships between clinical variables (the severity of depression symptoms, feelings towards the body, dissociation, number and type of traumatic events) and deliberate self-injury functions. Moreover, we investigated whether the of group self-mutilating adolescents is internally diverse in terms of how important individual functions of self-mutilation are, and whether the subgroups singled out by these functions differ between each other in terms of clinical variables.

The Inventory of Statements about Self-Injury was used. Characterizations of examined individuals and other research tools are included in our previous article (year, issue, pages).

Associated with negative feelings towards the body are the functions of self-injuries (anti-dissociation, self-punishment) that can be described as interpersonal. High levels of depression symptoms (self-depreciation included) are mainly associated with the self-injury functions: self-punishment, anti-dissociation, establishing interpersonal boundaries. Affect regulation becomes more important as a function of self-inflicted injuries in cases of biological dysregulation and intense dissociative symptoms.

The adolescents psychiatric inpatients are internally diverse in terms of dominant functions of self-injuries, which can be categorized into intra- and interpersonal. Intrapersonal functions dominate when an individual experiences severe depression, dissociative symptoms, and negative feelings towards the body. In cases of moderate intensity of depression, dissociative symptoms and negative feelings towards the body, both intrapersonal and interpersonal functions of self-mutilation are similarly important. Further research is required to explain the lowest severity of depression symptoms, dissociative symptoms and negative feelings towards the body co-occurs with no awareness of self-injuries functions.

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