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Journal Article


Sumlin E, Wall K, Sharp C. Pers. Ment. Health 2020; ePub(ePub): ePub.


University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa.


(Copyright © 2020, John Wiley and Sons)






BACKGROUND: Self-injurious behaviours (SIB) occur frequently in individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD). While multiple factors may explain the association between SIB and BPD, studies in adults have pointed to dissociation as factor worth considering. However, this relationship has not been examined in adolescents. AIMS: The current study investigated the role of dissociation as a potential moderator between borderline features and SIB, with the expectation that this association would be stronger in the presence of dissociation.

METHODS: One hundred forty-four adolescent inpatients were compared on measures of BPD, non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) and suicidal behaviour. The relationships between borderline features and self-injury outcomes were evaluated using linear and logistic regression with dissociation as a moderator.

RESULTS: Borderline features and dissociation were found to be significantly associated with history of NSSI, history of suicide attempt, suicidal ideation (SI) intensity and SI severity. However, dissociation was a significant moderator only in the relationship between borderline features and SI intensity.

CONCLUSION: Higher levels of dissociation were associated with more engagement with suicidal thoughts but did not necessarily contribute to SIB. Further research into differential patterns of association of self-injury in patients with BPD may investigate other models where dissociation may more strongly factor into outcomes. © 2020 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

© 2020 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Language: en


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