People with eating disorders have elevated interoceptive deficits and risk for self-injurious behaviors (SIBs). Across two eating disorder samples, the relationship between interoceptive deficits (IDs) and SIBs was tested. Study 1 (n = 100) found that suicide attempters and those engaging in non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) had greater IDs than those with no self-injury history. Lack of access to emotion regulation strategies accounted for the link between IDs and SIBs. In Study 2 (n = 92) multiple suicide attempters had greater IDs than single attempters and those engaging in NSSI; however, the latter two groups did not differ from one another. Interoceptive deficits may differentiate those who engage in severe SIBs from those who do not, and thus be a useful determinant of suicide risk severity among patients with eating disorders. Lack of access to emotion regulation strategies appears to be one pathway linking interoceptive deficits and self-injury.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health