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The co-occurrence of self-harm and aggression: a cognitive-emotional model of dual-harm

Shafti, Matina, Taylor, Peter James, Forrester, Andrew and Pratt, Daniel 2021. The co-occurrence of self-harm and aggression: a cognitive-emotional model of dual-harm. Frontiers in Psychology 12 , 586135. 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.586135

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There is growing evidence that some individuals engage in both self-harm and aggression during the course of their lifetime. The co-occurrence of self-harm and aggression is termed dual-harm. Individuals who engage in dual-harm may represent a high-risk group with unique characteristics and pattern of harmful behaviours. Nevertheless, there is an absence of clinical guidelines for the treatment and prevention of dual-harm and a lack of agreed theoretical framework that accounts for why people may engage in this behaviour. The present work aimed to address this gap in the literature by providing a narrative review of previous research of self-harm, aggression and dual-harm, and through doing so, presenting an evidence-based theory of dual-harm – the cognitive-emotional model of dual-harm. This model draws from previous studies and theories, including the General Aggression Model, diathesis-stress models and emotional dysregulation theories. The cognitive-emotional model highlights the potential distal, proximal and feedback processes of dual-harm, the role of personality style and the possible emotional regulation and interpersonal functions of this behaviour. In line with our theory, various clinical and research implications for dual-harm are suggested, including hypotheses to be tested by future studies.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Additional Information: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY).
Publisher: Frontiers Media
ISSN: 1664-1078
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 17 August 2021
Date of Acceptance: 29 January 2021
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2021 22:51

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