Patterns of Aggression and Non-Suicidal Self-Injury in At-Risk Adolescents: Examining the Roles of Emotion Dysregulation and Perceived Social Support

Katelyn C Affleck, Fordham University

Abstract

This study used a person-centered approach to investigate the association between non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) and the forms and functions of aggression in a clinical sample of adolescents. The study also assessed the potential moderating roles that emotion dysregulation and perceived social support may impact this association. The sample was comprised of 41 adolescents in an intensive outpatient mental health treatment program at the Mt. Sinai-St. Luke’s Comprehensive Adolescent Rehabilitation and Education Services (CARES) program. The study addressed gaps in the literature by extending prior research supporting an association between aggression and NSSI by simultaneously exploring moderating effects that may help clarify the underlying relationship using a person-centered approach for grouping aggression forms and functions. Two distinct groups of participants for both overt and relational aggression from the cluster analysis: one characterized by low reactive and low proactive aggression, and a second characterized by high reactive and high proactive aggression. However, these two groups were not association with self-reported NSSI endorsement in the previous year. Furthermore, emotion dysregulation and perceived social support did not moderate the association between NSSI and aggression. The small size of the sample may have prevented significant differences from emerging across the two aggression groups, and thus future research evaluating NSSI and forms and functions of aggression in clinical adolescent samples will benefit from larger overall sample sizes. The low rates of aggression endorsement across the sample may have prevented significant differences from emerging across the clusters. However, current findings do highlight the potential importance of assessing emotion dysregulation in assessment of aggression and NSSI, and the utility of identifying form and function of aggression in adolescents endorsing NSSI behavior.

Subject Area

Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

Affleck, Katelyn C, "Patterns of Aggression and Non-Suicidal Self-Injury in At-Risk Adolescents: Examining the Roles of Emotion Dysregulation and Perceived Social Support" (2019). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10976149.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI10976149

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