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ERIC Number: EJ784036
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Pages: 11
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0022-006X
Physiological Arousal, Distress Tolerance, and Social Problem-Solving Deficits among Adolescent Self-Injurers
Nock, Matthew K.; Mendes, Wendy Berry
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, v76 n1 p28-38 Feb 2008
It has been suggested that people engage in nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) because they (a) experience heightened physiological arousal following stressful events and use NSSI to regulate experienced distress and (b) have deficits in their social problem-solving skills that interfere with the performance of more adaptive social responses. However, objective physiological and behavioral data supporting this model are lacking. The authors compared adolescent self-injurers (n = 62) with noninjurers (n = 30) and found that self-injurers showed higher physiological reactivity (skin conductance) during a distressing task, a poorer ability to tolerate this distress, and deficits in several social problem-solving abilities. These findings highlight the importance of attending to increased arousal, distress tolerance, and problem-solving skills in the assessment and treatment of NSSI.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A