The relationship between self-injurious behavior and self-disclosure

The relationship between self-injurious behavior and self-disclosure in adolescents with eating disorders

Purpose The aim of the current study is to examine the
association between self disclosure and self-injurious behaviors
among adolescent patients diagnosed with an eating disorder.
Methods Sixty three female patients who fulfilled the
DSM-IV diagnostic criteria of eating disorders were
included (i.e. anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder and
eating disorders not otherwise specified). Participants’ age
ranged from 11.5 to 20 years (M = 15.42, SD = 1.82).
Participants completed self- report questionnaires about
eating disorders, self-disclosure, self-injurious behaviors
(FASM) and depression (BDI-II)

Results 82.5% of the sample endorsed severe self-injuri-
ous behaviors. A moderate negative relationship was found

between general disclosure to parents and self-injurious

behaviors indicating that patients who generally self-dis-
close to their parents (on different topics, apart from sui-
cidal ideation) engage less frequently in self-injurious

behaviors. In addition, the more patients self-disclose their
suicidal ideation to others, the more they tend to self-injure.
Conclusion Self-disclosure to parents on any topic may
buffer against self-injurious behaviors and therefore it is
important to work with adolescents suffering from eating

disorders on effective self disclosure. In addition, self-dis-
closure about suicidal ideation to others by adolescents

suffering from eating disorders should always be taken
seriously, since it may be related to self-injurious behaviors.

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