Session Abstract: BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Non-suicidal self-injury (self-harm without the intention of death; NSSI) is a common problem among college students. One factor that influences NSSI is personality. Specifically, research suggests that there is a strong association between maladaptive personality traits (in particular antagonism and negative affect) and NSSI. Another factor associated with NSSI is sexual assault: survivors of sexual assault may use NSSI in order to distract themselves from and otherwise regulate themselves in the aftermath of their trauma. However, it is unclear how maladaptive traits and sexual assault may influence NSSI relative to each other.
SUBJECTS, METHODS, ANALYSIS: In this study, we examined the relative effects of maladaptive traits and sexual assault on NSSI in a large sample of undergraduates (N = 985) using a Bayesian approach to analysis of covariance.
RESULTS: Results suggest that antagonism predicted higher levels of NSSI and that sexual assault had a modest effect over and above this.
CONCLUSIONS: These results highlight the especially pernicious nature of sexual assault and suggest the need to assess both NSSI and maladaptive traits in survivors of sexual assault.

Corresponding Author: Anika Mehta, MS | Palo Alto University

Presentation 1 Title: Relative Effects of Sexual Assault and Maladaptive Personality Traits on Non-Suicidal Self-Injury


Anika Mehta, MS | Palo Alto University

Kayleigh N. Watters, MS | Palo Alto University

Sindes Dawood, MS | Milwaukee, VA

Matthew M. Yalch, PhD | Palo Alto University

Hans S. Schroder | University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

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