Category: Suicide and Self-Injury
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are robust predictors of nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) in adolescence. Among youth with an ACE history there are large individual differences in these maladaptive outcomes, yet little empirical attention has been paid to potential mediators and moderators. Previous ACEs research has shown that enhanced executive function (EF) mitigates the risk of psychopathology later in life (DePrince et al., 2009). The present study focuses on investigating the mediating effect of EF on the relationship between ACEs and NSSI, and precisely how timing of adversity moderates this association.
Data was gathered during a single laboratory visit with a sample of community based adolescents. Preliminary analyses were run with individuals endorsing an ACEs history (n=11) grouped according to lifetime NSSI history (self-injurers; n=7) and no-NSSI history (non-injurers; n=4). The majority of the sample was female (90%) and the mean age was 16 years (SD=2.49). Measures included the Self-Injurious Thoughts and Behaviors Interview (SITBI; Nock et al., 2007) and an adapted version of the Adverse Childhood Experience questionnaire (Felitti et al., 1998). The adapted ACE questionnaire assessed specific age of exposure to each adverse event. This information was grouped by three developmental periods: childhood-only (0-9 years of age), adolescence-only (10-18 years of age), and chronic lifetime (0-18 years of age). EF was assessed with a computerized Color-Word Stroop Task (Stroop, 1935). EF Interference scores were calculated based on differences in response latencies across congruent, control, and incongruent trials (Golden, 1978; Lansbergen, Kenemans, & Engeland, 2007).
Laura Alba– Teachers College, Columbia University, Temecula, California
Kayla DeFazio– MA student, Teachers College, Columbia University
Katherine DiVasto– Lab Manager, Teachers College, Columbia University
Theresa Ebo– Teachers College, Columbia University
Eleonora Guzman-Daireaux– Teachers College, Columbia University
Katherine Tezanos– Teachers College, Columbia University
Christine Cha– Teachers College, Columbia University