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Adolescents choosing self-harm as an emotion regulations strategy : The protective role of trait emotional intelligence

Petrides, K; Hurry, J; Mikolajczak, M; (2009) Adolescents choosing self-harm as an emotion regulations strategy : The protective role of trait emotional intelligence. British Journal of Clinical Psychology , 48 (2) pp. 181-193.

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Abstract

Objectives: The present study seeks to extend the understanding of the role of dispositional factors in the aetiology of self-harm among adolescents. We hypothesized that higher trait emotional intelligence (trait EI) would be associated with a lower likelihood to harm oneself, and that this relationship would be mediated by the choice of coping strategies. - Design and Methods: Trait EI, coping styles and self-harm behaviours were assessed in 490 adolescents recruited from eight British schools. - Results: The results supported our hypothesis and showed that the relationship between trait EI and self-harm was partly mediated by the choice of coping strategies. Emotional coping was a particularly powerful mediator, suggesting that self-harm may be a way to decrease the negative emotions that are exacerbated by maladaptive emotional coping strategies, such as rumination, self-blame, and helplessness. Trait EI was correlated positively with adaptive coping styles and negatively with maladaptive coping styles, and depression. - Conclusions: These findings emphasize the potential value of incorporating coping coaching programmes in the treatment of self-harm patients.

Type: Article
Title: Adolescents choosing self-harm as an emotion regulations strategy : The protective role of trait emotional intelligence
Keywords: Mental health, 17 - 18
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Psychology and Human Development
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1566016
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