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ERIC Number: EJ784039
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Pages: 7
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0022-006X
Parent-Child Interactions, Peripheral Serotonin, and Self-Inflicted Injury in Adolescents
Crowell, Sheila E.; Beauchaine, Theodore P.; McCauley, Elizabeth; Smith, Cindy J.; Vasilev, Christina A.; Stevens, Adrianne L.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, v76 n1 p15-21 Feb 2008
Self-inflicted injury in adolescence indicates significant emotional and psychological suffering. Although data on the etiology of self-injury are limited, current theories suggest that the emotional lability observed among self-injuring adolescents results from complex interactions between individual biological vulnerabilities and environmental risk. For example, deficiencies in serotonergic functioning, in conjunction with certain family interaction patterns, may contribute to the development of emotional lability and risk for self-injury. The authors explored the relation between peripheral serotonin levels and mother-child interaction patterns among typical (n = 21) and self-injuring (n = 20) adolescents. Findings revealed higher levels of negative affect and lower levels of both positive affect and cohesiveness among families of self-injuring participants. Peripheral serotonin was also correlated with the expression of positive affect within dyads. Furthermore, adolescents' serotonin levels interacted with negativity and conflict within dyads to explain 64% of the variance in self-injury. These findings underscore the importance of considering both biological and environmental risk factors in understanding and treating self-injuring adolescents.
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