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Title: The role of self-disgust in non-suicidal self-injury among individuals with personality disorder
Author: Schwaiger, T.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7230 8696
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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AIMS: There is growing evidence of a strong association between self-disgust and non- suicidal self-injury (NSSI). The aim of the current study was to investigate the role of self-disgust, alongside possible overlapping affect-states (shame, anger), in predicting lifetime NSSI among individuals with Personality Disorder (PD) features. This research also aimed to examine the psychometric structure of an existing self-disgust scale in this sample. METHOD: A cross-sectional online survey was conducted incorporating self-report questionnaires to screen for PD and to assess self-disgust, anger, shame, sexual abuse, lifetime NSSI and functions of NSSI. One hundred and eighty-eight individuals who screened positive for PD were recruited as well as 133 subjects who screened negative for PD. RESULT: Logistic regression analysis highlighted self-disgust as the single independent predictor of lifetime NSSI. Multiple regression analyses identified self-disgust as a predictor of the ‘self-punishment’, ‘anti-suicide’ and ‘communicating distress’ functions of NSSI. A principal component analysis of the self-disgust scale suggested that physical self-disgust explained over 50% of the variance out of the overall variability in the sample that screened positive for PD. CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that self-disgust may be a significant risk factor for NSSI among individuals who screen positive for PD and indicate that self-disgust may specifically be connected with the impulse to attack and punish the self through self-injury. The effectiveness of interventions for NSSI among individuals with PD symptoms may be enhanced by examining whether self-disgust contributes to and/or maintains self-injurious behaviour. Treatment may also benefit from taking into consideration the strong visceral experiences related to self-disgust.
Supervisor: Feigenbaum, J. F. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available