Advisor(s) - Committee Chair
Amy Brausch (Director), Stephen O'Connor, Andrew Mienaltowski
Department of Psychology
Master of Arts
This study explored the potential for physical activity to be an effective, healthy coping strategy alternative to self-harm behaviors. Regression analyses were performed to assess how physical activity level related to risk factors (i.e., emotional dysregulation, self-esteem, and depression) and self-harm behaviors. The relationship between selfharm and exercise motivations was also examined. Participants were recruited from two high schools (n = 95) and one university (n = 72) in the southeastern region of the United States. Analyses were run using the following measures from a survey packet: adapted Exercise Questionnaire (Helmerhorst, Brage, Warren, Besson, & Ekelund, 2012), Exercise Motivations Inventory—Second Edition (Markland & Ingledew, 1997), Inventory of Statements About Self-Injury (Klonsky & Olino, 2008), Reynolds Adolescent Depression Scale – 2nd Edition (Reynolds, 2002), Eating Disorders Inventory – 3 (Garner, 2004), and Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (Miller, Anton, & Townson, 2008). Of the 167 who participated, 41.3% endorsed at least one instance of nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI). Results indicated that NSSI frequency was significantly negatively associated with physical activity (β = -.22, p < 0.01). An interaction was found between physical activity and depression, such that physical activity moderated the relationship between depression and self-harm. The overall model explained 28.2% of the variance, F(3,145) = 10.02, p < .01. Affiliation and appearancebased exercise motivations significantly associated with decreased (β = -.244, p = .047) and increased (β = .320, p = .001) frequencies of self-harm, respectively. Overall, the findings suggest that physical activity may possess a protective nature against self-harm behaviors, especially in individuals with depressive symptoms.
Applied Behavior Analysis | Clinical Psychology | Personality and Social Contexts
Boone, Shannon Danielle, "Physical Activity as a Contributing Factor to Engagement in Self-Harm Behaviors Among Youth" (2015). Masters Theses & Specialist Projects. Paper 1445.