Despite the clinical importance of deliberate self-harm, research on the risk factors for self-harm among nonclinical populations has been limited. This study examined the role of childhood maltreatment, emotional inexpressivity, and affect intensity/reactivity in the self-harm behavior of 249 female college students. Childhood maltreatment and low positive affect intensity/reactivity reliably distinguished women with frequent self-harm from women with no history of self-harm, as did the combination of greater maltreatment, greater inexpressivity, and higher levels of affect intensity/reactivity (global and negative). Among women with a history of self-harm, emotional inexpressivity was associated with more frequent self-harm, as was the combination of greater maltreatment, greater inexpressivity, and lower levels of positive affect intensity/reactivity.
Copyright 2006 APA, all rights reserved.