Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Thesis (UNI Access Only)


Self-mutilation--Psychological aspects, Impulse; Anger--Psychological aspects;


Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is the deliberate destruction of one’s skin, without the intent to die. Studies using behavioral measures have found that self-injurers do not demonstrate higher levels of impulsivity; however, self-report measures have yielded conflicting results. The emotion that most often precedes a self-injurious behavior is anger directed towards one’s self as self-punishment. The purpose of this study was to evaluate anger-related behaviors in combination with impulsive behaviors to understand how they may increase vulnerability to NSSI behaviors. Specifically, facets of impulsivity (i.e., urgency, lack of premeditation, sensation seeking) and anger (i.e., state anger, trait anger, anger expression, anger control) were studied. Adolescents aged 14-18 years and college students completed the Deliberate Self-harm Inventory, State Trait Anger Expression Inventory-2 and the UPPS-P Impulsivity Scale. Anger was a stronger predictor of who was and who was not a self-injurer. Self-injurers, overall, were elevated on all impulsivity and anger facets except for sensation seeking. Unexpectedly, adolescent self-injurers had higher levels of expressing their anger outwards out and had trouble calming down when compared to college self-injurers. These results can be beneficial to professionals to help formulate more effective psychotherapy and help provide avenues for existing therapies such as DBT and CBT. These results also have provided novel data by directly comparing adolescent self-injurers and college self-injurers and showing that impulsivity and anger play a role in NSSI.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Seth Brown

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vii, 123 pages)



File Format


Off-Campus Download