Exploring the role of loneliness in relation to self-injurious thoughts and behaviour in the context of the integrated motivational-volitional model

McClelland, H., Evans, J. J. and O'Connor, R. C. (2021) Exploring the role of loneliness in relation to self-injurious thoughts and behaviour in the context of the integrated motivational-volitional model. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 141, pp. 309-317. (doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2021.07.020) (PMID:34304034)

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Abstract

Suicide is a worldwide public health concern claiming approximately 800,000 lives around the world every year. The impact of loneliness on mental and physical wellbeing has received increasing attention in recent years, however its role in the emergence of self-injurious thoughts and behaviours is unclear. The current study explored loneliness in relation to other psychological variables associated with self-injurious thoughts and behaviour. Data were collected from UK residents (n = 400, aged 18–76 years) via an online survey accessible between September 2018 and April 2019. Univariate multinomial logistic regression analyses identified that loneliness independently distinguished between participants with no history of self-injurious thoughts or behaviours, those with a history of self-injurious thoughts only, and those with a history of self-injurious behaviours. When other key variables were controlled for, loneliness distinguished between controls and those with a self-injurious thoughts or behaviours history. However, loneliness did not distinguish between people with self-injurious thoughts only and those with a history of self-injurious behaviours. To understand how loneliness might contribute towards the emergence of self-injury, analysis exploring the extent to which loneliness moderates established risk factors (e.g., defeat, entrapment) was conducted. The results suggest that loneliness moderates both the relationship between defeat and entrapment, and between entrapment and self-injurious thoughts. Future work exploring these associations prospectively would advance understanding of the role of loneliness in suicide risk and inform the development of clinical and community-based suicide prevention interventions.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:O'Connor, Professor Rory and Mcclelland, Miss Heather and Evans, Professor Jonathan
Authors: McClelland, H., Evans, J. J., and O'Connor, R. C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:Journal of Psychiatric Research
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0022-3956
ISSN (Online):1879-1379
Published Online:15 July 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 Elsevier
First Published:First published in Journal of Psychiatric Research 141:309-317
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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