Differences in features of non-suicidal self-injury according to borderline personality disorder screening status

Katherine L Bracken-Minor, Meghan E McDevitt-Murphy
Archives of Suicide Research: Official Journal of the International Academy for Suicide Research 2014, 18 (1): 88-103
Given that non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) disorder is being considered for the upcoming Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), it is important to consider how NSSI occurs with and without borderline personality disorder (BPD). Participants were 480 undergraduates who completed online questionnaires and were assigned to 4 groups based on NSSI and BPD status. Analyses revealed BPD-positive self-injurers had higher self-punishment, anti-suicide, and anti-dissociation functions of NSSI and higher rates of cutting and burning than BPD-negative self-injurers. Furthermore, difficulty in emotion regulation, not distress tolerance, was most critical in distinguishing between groups. Differences between BPD-positive and BPD-negative self-injurers provide preliminary support for NSSI as a distinct disorder. However, more research in this area is needed.

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