The evaluation of the stress coping styles and emotional intelligence in psychiatrically treated adolescent patients with deliberate self-harm in relation to chosen clinical features
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Psychiatr Pol 2012;46(2):227–240
Aim. The primary goal of the study was an evaluation of the dominating stress coping styles in adolescent patients with self-harm records, who were psychiatrically treated, taking into account the level of their emotional intelligence vs. the psychiatric diagnosis, the type of motives and decision involved in self-harming and the presence of Suicidal attempts (SA) in the past. The secondary goal included an analysis of the correlations between particular stress coping skills and the level of emotional intelligence. Method. The reported studies involved self-harming patients aged of 13-18 years during their psychiatric hospitalisation (n=31). The applied tools included the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS) and the Two-Dimensional Inventory of Emotional Intelligence (DINEMO). Results. An evaluation of the correlation between stress coping styles and the levels of emotional intelligence in the studied group and the types of mental disorders did not reveal any significant differences between the evaluated subgroups. Patients, who confirmed an instrumental motive, obtained statistically significantly higher scores on the task-oriented scale vs. those who performed the acts of DSH for reactive or pathological reasons. Taking into consideration the type of decision, involved in self-harming acts, did not show any differences in the stress coping styles of the patients, however, those patients, who had planned an act of DSH, achieved statistically significantly higher scores in the OTHERS scale of the DINEMO. Patients with DSH and with SA in the past (77% studied group), achieved similar results in CISS and DINEMO vs. the self-harming patients without SA in the past. In the study group, one statistically significant correlation was demonstrated between CISS the avoidance-oriented style - and the 1 in DINEMO. Conclusions. I. Patients with DSH records and without SA constitute a fairly uniform group with regards to stress coping styles, taking into account the type of psychic disorders and the urgency of self-harm decision. 2. Their use of the task-oriented style may be associated with instrumental auto-aggression. 3. DSH may be a non-verbal form of communicating other problems to others. 4. Adolescents, who perform the acts of self-harm, are endangered by suicidal attempts, regardless of their stress coping styles or the level of their emotional intelligence. 5. A development of constructive stress coping skills against strong emotional reactions is a recommended method in the therapy of patients with DSH.