Implicit associations in self -injurious behavior: An evaluation of the mechanisms involved in the affect -regulation model

Brittany F Ryan, Fordham University

Abstract

This study evaluated the self-punishment hypothesis and the distraction hypothesis of the affect regulation model of self-injurious behavior (SIB) using the R-COPE, the Implicit Association Test (IAT, Greenwald, McGhee, & Schwartz, 1998) and the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20, Bagby, Parker, & Taylor, 1994a). Data were collected from 62 undergraduate students, 33.9% of the sample engaged in SIB. Using the IAT, participants in both groups had positive self-concepts, which challenges the self-punishment hypothesis. IAT data did not support the distraction hypothesis. When a higher cut-off score for the SIB group was used, avoidant and self-punishment as coping strategies, as well as, alexithymia were endorsed at significantly higher rates in the SIB group. The IAT findings indicate that stable automatic associations do not underlie self-punishment and distraction. It is proposed that these mechanisms are more appropriately understood as being activated by negative affect.

Subject Area

Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

Ryan, Brittany F, "Implicit associations in self -injurious behavior: An evaluation of the mechanisms involved in the affect -regulation model" (2008). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3353778.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3353778

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