A COGNITIVE EXPERIENTIAL AVOIDANCE MODEL (C-EAM): UNDERSTANDING NON-SUICIDAL SELF-INJURY AS A FORM OF AVOIDANCE

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A COGNITIVE EXPERIENTIAL AVOIDANCE MODEL (C-EAM): UNDERSTANDING NON-SUICIDAL SELF-INJURY AS A FORM OF AVOIDANCE

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dc.contributor.advisor Lewis, Stephen P.
dc.contributor.author Davis, Michele
dc.date 2012-04-30
dc.date.accessioned 2012-09-11T20:44:22Z
dc.date.available 2012-09-11T20:44:22Z
dc.date.issued 2012-09-11
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10214/3969
dc.description.abstract Few theoretical models formally integrate the roles of cognitive and emotional factors in understanding non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI). The first study outlines a new model, which considers both emotionality and cognition as predictors of experiential avoidance. NSSI is proposed to be an experientially avoidant behaviour, used to avoid from or escape unwanted emotional experiences. Specifically, it was proposed that emotion dysregulation would moderate the relation between two cognitive perceptions associated with general forms of self-harm, namely defeat (e.g., “I am rejected/experienced loss/am defeated”) and entrapment (e.g., “I am stuck in this state and there is no way out”). This model, coined the Cognitive-Experiential Avoidance Model (C-EAM) was tested in a sample of 464 undergraduate students – a known high-risk population for NSSI. Findings provided preliminary support for the model, suggesting that the perception of defeat predicts the perception of entrapment more for those with poor emotion regulation skills. Entrapment also predicted significant variance in experiential avoidance, which varied as a function of NSSI frequency group. Logistical regression analyses also demonstrated that entrapment and experiential avoidance predicted NSSI group membership. Those with a history of NSSI reported poorer emotion regulation skills and higher perceptions of entrapment compared to those without a history of NSSI; however, effect sizes were largest for those with more than four lifetime occurrences of NSSI. The second study evaluated an in-situ measure of experiential avoidance using a subset of participants from Study 1. Results did not support the proposed hypotheses, as those with a history of NSSI did not opt to discontinue a stressful task earlier than those without a history of NSSI. Findings speak to the importance of considering both cognitive and emotional factors in NSSI management. Future research should focus on model replication in other at-risk samples (e.g., youth), using momentary assessments of emotions and cognitions to ascertain the temporal nature of model components, and assessing the role of emotion regulation as a moderator of other cognitive factors associated with NSSI. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.title A COGNITIVE EXPERIENTIAL AVOIDANCE MODEL (C-EAM): UNDERSTANDING NON-SUICIDAL SELF-INJURY AS A FORM OF AVOIDANCE en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.degree.programme Psychology en_US
dc.degree.name Doctor of Philosophy en_US
dc.degree.department Department of Psychology en_US


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