Affective instability and impulsivity predict nonsuicidal self-injury in the general population: a longitudinal analysis

Evyn M Peters, Marilyn Baetz, Steven Marwaha, Lloyd Balbuena, Rudy Bowen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Impulsivity and affective instability are related traits known to be associated with nonsuicidal self-injury, although few longitudinal studies have examined this relationship. The purpose of this study was to determine if impulsivity and affective instability predict future nonsuicidal self-injury in the general population while accounting for the overlap between these traits.

METHODS: Logistic regression analyses were conducted on data from 2344 participants who completed an 18-month follow-up of the 2000 British National Psychiatric Morbidity Survey. Affective instability and impulsivity were assessed at baseline with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis II Personality Disorders. Nonsuicidal self-injury was assessed at baseline and follow-up during semi-structured interviews.

RESULTS: Affective instability and impulsivity predicted the onset of nonsuicidal self-injury during the follow-up period. Affective instability, but not impulsivity, predicted the continuation of nonsuicidal self-injury during the follow-up period. Affective instability accounted for part of the relationship between impulsivity and nonsuicidal self-injury.

CONCLUSIONS: Affective instability and impulsivity are important predictors of nonsuicidal self-injury in the general population. It may be more useful to target affective instability over impulsivity for the treatment of nonsuicidal self-injury.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17
JournalBorderline personality disorder and emotion dysregulation
Volume3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2018

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