What bridges the gap between self-harm and suicidality? The role of forgiveness, resilience and attachment

G.S. Nagra, Ashleigh Lin, R. Upthegrove

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
422 Downloads (Pure)


© 2016.
Self-harm is the most robust risk for completed suicide. There is a lack of understanding of why some people who self-harm escalate to suicidal behaviour when others do not. Psychological factors such as attachment, self-forgiveness and self-appraisal may be important. To determine whether factors from the Interpersonal Theory and Schematic Appraisals models are useful to identify suicidal behaviour in populations that self-harm. Specifically we investigate whether resilience factors of secure attachment, self-forgiveness and positive self-appraisals significantly influence suicidality in people who self-harm. A cross-sectional online study of 323 participants recruited from self-harm support forum. Validated self-report measures were used to assess appraisals, relationships, self-forgiveness, attachment style, suicidality and self-harm. Emotion coping and support seeking self-appraisals and self-forgiveness were negatively associated with suicidality in participants with a history of self-harm. Dismissing attachment was positively associated with suicidality. The perceived ability to cope with emotions, the perceived ability to gain support and self-forgiveness may protect against suicide in people who self-harm. Conversely the presence of dismissing attachment may increase the risk of suicidality. Findings provide therapeutic targets to reduce risk of suicidality in this high risk group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-82
Number of pages5
JournalPsychiatry Research
Early online date30 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2016


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