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Lifetime and Current Self-Harm Thoughts and Behaviors and Their Relationship to Parent and Peer Attachment.

Authors
  • Janssens, Julie J1
  • Myin-Germeys, Inez1
  • Lafit, Ginette1, 2
  • Achterhof, Robin1
  • Hagemann, Noëmi1
  • Hermans, Karlijn S F M1
  • Hiekkaranta, Anu P1
  • Lecei, Aleksandra3
  • Kirtley, Olivia J1
  • 1 Center for Contextual Psychiatry, Department of Neuroscience, KU Leuven, Belgium. , (Belgium)
  • 2 Research Group on Quantitative Psychology and Individual Differences, Department of Psychology, KU Leuven, Belgium. , (Belgium)
  • 3 Center for Clinical Psychiatry, Department of Neuroscience, KU Leuven, Belgium. , (Belgium)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Crisis
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2023
Volume
44
Issue
5
Pages
424–432
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1027/0227-5910/a000878
PMID: 36321256
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Background: Previous research suggests attachment is a vulnerability factor for self-harm thoughts and behaviors in adults. Yet, few studies have investigated this relationship during adolescence, although adolescence is a critical period for changes in attachment relationships and self-harm onset. Whether and how attachment relates to self-harm thoughts and behaviors as measured in daily life is also unknown. Aims: To investigate whether and how paternal, maternal, and peer attachment are associated with lifetime and current adolescent self-harm thoughts and behaviors. Additionally, to examine how different attachment bonds interact in relation to lifetime and current adolescent self-harm thoughts and behaviors. Method: Pre-existing data from N = 1,913 adolescents of the SIGMA study were used. Attachment and lifetime history of self-harm thoughts and behaviors were measured via retrospective questionnaires. Current self-harm thoughts and behaviors were assessed 10 times per day for 6 days using the experience sampling method (ESM). Results: Paternal and maternal attachments were associated with lifetime self-harm thoughts and behaviors and current self-harm thoughts. No significant associations were found between peer attachment and self-harm outcomes. Limitations: Some analyses were underpowered. Conclusion: Our results highlight the importance of parent-child attachment relationships, which may be intervention targets for prevention and treatment of adolescent self-harm.

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