What bridges the gap between self-harm and suicidality: the role of forgiveness, resilience and attachment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

Background
Self-harm is the most robust risk for completed suicide. There is a lack of understanding of why some people who self-harm escalate to suicidal behaviour when others do not. Psychological factors such as attachment, self-forgiveness
and self-appraisal may be important.
Aims
To determine whether factors from the Interpersonal Theory and Schematic Appraisals models are useful to identify suicidal behaviour in populations that self-harm. Specifically we investigate whether resilience factors of secure attachment, self-forgiveness and positive self-appraisals significantly influence suicidality in people who self-harm.
Method
A cross-sectional online study of 323 participants recruited from self-harm support forum. Validated self-report measures were used to assess appraisals, relationships, self-forgiveness, attachment style, suicidality and self-harm.
Results
Emotion coping and support seeking self-appraisals and self-forgiveness were negatively associated with suicidality in participants with a history of self-harm. Dismissing attachment was positively associated with suicidality.
Conclusion
The perceived ability to cope with emotions, the perceived ability to gain support and self-forgive forgiveness may protect against suicide in people who self-harm. Conversely the presence of dismissing attachment may increase the risk
of suicidality. Findings provide therapeutic targets to reduce risk of suicidality in this high risk group.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number10.1016/j.psychres.2016.04.103
JournalPsychiatry Research
Early online date30 Apr 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Apr 2016

Keywords

  • Psychological factors, self-harm, suicide, self injury