The NSSI Family Distress Cascade Theory 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences 1701 Psychology 11 Medical and Health Sciences 1117 Public Health and Health Services

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Abstract

Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) is a complex behaviour and occurs most commonly during adolescence. This developmental period is characterized by the drive to establish an equilibrium between personal autonomy and connectedness with primary caregivers. When an adolescent self-injures, caregivers often experience confusion about how to react. Reports of feeling guilt, fear, and shame are common in the wake of learning about a child's self-injury. This cascade of negative feelings and self-appraisals may lead to hypervigilance and increased caregiver efforts to control the child's behaviour. The adolescent may experience this as an intrusion, leading to worse family functioning and increased risk of NSSI. This cascade is not well acknowledged or articulated in current literature. This article remedies this gap by presenting the NSSI Family Distress Cascade.

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Waals, L., Baetens, I., Rober, P., Lewis, S., Van Parys, H., Goethals, E. R., & Whitlock, J. (2018). The NSSI Family Distress Cascade Theory 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences 1701 Psychology 11 Medical and Health Sciences 1117 Public Health and Health Services. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 12(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13034-018-0259-7

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