A multimethod analysis of impulsivity in nonsuicidal self-injury

Catherine R Glenn, E David Klonsky
Personality Disorders 2010, 1 (1): 67-75
Impulsivity has been proposed as an important construct in nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI). Yet, research on the relationship of impulsivity to NSSI has been mixed. The present study clarified this relationship using a multifaceted measure of impulsivity (i.e., UPPS Impulsive Behavior Scale), and a computer-based behavioral measure of inhibitory control (i.e., a stop-signal task). Participants were 82 confirmed self-injurers and 86 controls recruited from a college population. Self-injurers and controls performed similarly on the stop-signal task. On the UPPS, self-injurers were best distinguished by Urgency (committing rash decisions when faced with negative emotions), and distinguished to a lesser degree by lack of Premeditation (inability to delay action in order to plan) and Sensation Seeking (seeking excitement and adventure). Among self-injurers, lack of Perseverance (inability to stay with a task through completion) predicted more recent and frequent NSSI. Conceptual and clinical implications are discussed.

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