Negative cognitive style and perceived social support mediate the relationship between aggression and NSSI in hospitalized adolescents

Jennifer C Wolff, Elisabeth A Frazier, Christianne Esposito-Smythers, Sara J Becker, Taylor A Burke, Andrea Cataldo, Anthony Spirito
Journal of Adolescence 2014, 37 (4): 483-91
Despite the well-documented association between aggression and NSSI among adolescents, relatively little research has been conducted on the mechanisms underlying this relationship. The purpose of this study was to investigate potential socio-cognitive mechanisms through which aggression and NSSI are related. Participants were 186 adolescents (ages 13-18) recruited from a psychiatric inpatient facility in the northeastern United States. According to teen report, 57.5% of the sample endorsed NSSI in the previous year. Mediation was tested using the modern bootstrapping technique described by Hayes, using 5000 resamples with replacement, including sex and depression diagnosis as covariates. Results demonstrated that greater negative self-talk, a more negative cognitive style, and lower perceived family support were all significant mediators of the relationship between aggression and greater frequency of NSSI, whereas perceived social support from friends was not a significant mediator. Limitations, clinical implications, and future research directions of the current research are discussed.

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