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Self-punishment and Pain Sensitivity - 2013 - St. Catharines, ON, Canada

Resource Type
Dataset : experimental data, survey data
  • Hamza, Chloe (Brock University)
Other Title
  • Archival Version (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Free Keywords
injuries; pain; punishment
  • Abstract

    Despite recent findings that individuals who engage in non-suicidal self injury (NSSI) have heightened tolerances for pain relative to non-injurers, little attention has been given to how self-injurers overcome the instinct to avoid the pain involved in NSSI. Understanding the process through which self-injurers are willing to tolerate pain, however, may have important implications for prevention and intervention efforts, as heightened tolerance for pain has been associated with increased suicidal risk. In the present study, we examined whether one factor that may influence a self-injurer's willingness to tolerate pain is whether they engage in NSSI to regulate the need to self-punish (i. e., I engage in NSSI to punish myself, express anger at myself). Participants included 82 fourth year undergraduate students from a mid-sized Canadian university (i.e., 31 self-injurers with self-punishment motivations, 25 self-injurers without self-punishment motivations, 26 age-matched controls) recruited from a larger ongoing project examining stress and coping among university students (N = 832, 69.5 percent female, Mage = 21.52). Following a stress task, pain threshold, pain tolerance, and pain intensity ratings were assessed using the Cold-Pressor Task. ANOVA analyses revealed that self-injurers who engaged in NSSI to self-punish tolerated pain significantly longer and rated this pain as less aversive than self-injurers without self-punishment motivations, and the comparison group of non-injurers. Our findings, therefore, suggest that willingness to tolerate painful stimulation may be an important part of the self-injury experience among individuals who engage in NSSI to self-punish. Moreover, our findings suggest that motivational factors underlying NSSI should be integrated into theories on the link between NSSI and pain sensitivity.
  • Methods

    Presence of Common Scales: The Inventory of Statements about Self-injury (ISAS); Cold pressor task (CPT), Difficulties with Emotion Regulation (DERS); Painful and Provactive Life Experiences (PPE); Depressive Experiences Questionnaire (DEQ)
  • Methods

    Response Rates: 75 percent of those invited to participate, participated in the study.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Dataset
Geographic Coverage
  • Canada
  • St. Catharines
Sampled Universe
82 undergraduate students Smallest Geographic Unit: County
Participants were 82 fourth year undergraduate students at a mid-sized Canadian university (69.5 percent female; Mage = 21.52) recruited from a larger ongoing project examining stress and coping among university students (N = 832). In total, 87.5 percent of the participants from this original were born in Canada. Participants completed the Inventory of Statements about Self-Injury (ISAS; Klonsky & Glenn, 2009), which included assessments of past year NSSI engagement and motivations for engaging in NSSI (e.g., when I self-injured, I was punishing myself) as part of a larger research project (N = 832). Participants who reported a history of NSSI within the past year (N = 40 with self-punishment motivations, 35 without self-punishment motivations) and a sample of non-injuring participants, matched on age, sex, and parental education (N = 34) were invited to participate in a lab-based study. Of those participants who met the study inclusion criteria, 31 self-injurers with self-punishment motivations, 25 self-injurers without self-punishment motivations, and 26 non-injuring participants agreed to participate in the present study.
Collection Mode
  • self-enumerated questionnaire

    Data and documentation for this collection (in SPSS and Excel format) are contained in a zipped package.

One or more files in this study are not available for download due to special restrictions; consult the study documentation to learn more on how to obtain the data.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 35298 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR35298.v1

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-16

Hamza, Chloe (2014): Self-punishment and Pain Sensitivity - 2013 - St. Catharines, ON, Canada. Archival Version. Version: v0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.