Psychiatr. Pol. 2016; 50(1): 43–54
Anna Kubiak, Olga Sakson-Obada
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Nawykowe samouszkodzenia a Ja cielesne
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Repetetive self-injury and the body self
The assessment of differences in body self and pain thresholds between people inflicting self-injuries in a repetitive manner and those, who do not engage in such behavior.
The participants were selected through screening and purposive sampling (the study group consisted of 34 people: 29 women, 5 men; and the control group of 32 people: 28 women, 4 men). The Tension Situations Questionnaire and the Inventory of Questions Concerning Self-injury were used in the study. These measures served to assess the presence and circumstances of self-injury. TempTest apparatus (measuring sensitivity to pain) and the Body Self Questionnaire were also used.
Individuals inflicting self-injury are characterised by higher indices of body self maladaptiveness than individuals from the control group. In the study group, disorders were found in such aspects of body self as: the perception of sensations, the interpretation and regulation of emotions and physical needs, emotional attitude to body, and the sense of body identity. Women inflicting self-injuries had a higher pain threshold than women from the control group, the reverse pattern was observed in the group of men. However, due to the small size of the male group, the obtained result should be treated with caution.
The study showed, that the distorted aspect of personality – the body self – is the important risk factor for the repetetive self-injuries. The lowered pain threshold in men engaging in self-harm, in combination with the increased threshold of pain in self-injuring women is surprising result and demands further investigation.