Specificity of childhood maltreatment and emotion deficit in nonsuicidal self-injury in an inpatient sample of youth

Kristel Thomassin, Anne Shaffer, Amber Madden, Donna L. Londino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


The present study investigated the function of two specific emotion-related skills, emotion expressivity and emotion coping, as potential mediators in the relations between childhood sexual, physical, and emotional abuse and NSSI. A robust body of work supports the role of emotion regulation in nonsuicidal self-injury, but additional research is warranted to tease apart the role of specific emotion regulation deficits as predictors of NSSI. Participants included 95 youth (Mage=14.22, SDage=1.67; 58% female) hospitalized on one of two acute care psychiatric inpatient units. Participants completed self-report questionnaires related to childhood experiences of trauma, current emotion expressivity and coping, and lifetime frequency of NSSI. Path analytic models indicated that only child emotional abuse was directly associated with NSSI when all abuse subtypes were examined simultaneously. Results also indicated that poor emotion expressivity, but not emotion coping, mediated the relation between childhood experiences of emotional abuse and NSSI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-108
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry Research
StatePublished - Oct 30 2016



  • Abuse
  • Emotion expressivity
  • Emotion regulation
  • Nonsuicidal self-injury
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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