Investigating the role of executive attentional control to self-harm in a non-clinical cohort with borderline personality features

DRABBLE, Jennifer, BOWLES, David and BARKER, Lynne Ann (2014). Investigating the role of executive attentional control to self-harm in a non-clinical cohort with borderline personality features. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 8 (274).

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Link to published version:: 10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00274

Abstract

Self-injurious behavior (or self-harm) is a frequently reported maladaptive behavior in the general population and a key feature of borderline personality disorder (BPD). Poor affect regulation is strongly linked to a propensity to self-harm, is a core component of BPD, and is linked with reduced attentional control abilities. The idea that attentional control difficulties may provide a link between BPD, negative affect and self-harm has yet to be established, however. The present study explored the putative relationship between levels of BPD features, three aspects of attentional/executive control, affect, and self-harm history in a sample of 340 non-clinical participants recruited online from self-harm forums and social networking sites. Analyses showed that self-reported levels of BPD features and attentional focusing predicted self-harm incidence, and high attentional focusing increased the likelihood of a prior self-harm history in those with high BPD features. Ability to shift attention was associated with a reduced likelihood of self-harm, suggesting that good attentional switching ability may provide a protective buffer against self-harm behavior for some individuals. These attentional control differences mediated the association between negative affect and self-harm, but the relationship between BPD and self-harm appears independent.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published online: 20 August 2014.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Psychology Research Group
Identification Number: 10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00274
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Jennifer Drabble
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2014 12:41
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2015 09:28
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/8854

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