Assessing the validity of the quartile risk model for predicting deliberate self-harm.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
Deliberate self-harm involves a deliberate physical act with the intent of harming the self, and it is common in both community and clinical populations. There are many precipitants to this behaviour, with dissociation receiving increasing recent attention. The current study examined Karpel and Jerram’s (2015) quartile risk model for predicting deliberate self-harm. The model proposes that four quadrants of dissociation (low normative, high normative, low clinical, and high clinical) represent varying levels of risk for engagement in deliberate self-harm. The model posits that quadrants one and three, low normative and low clinical, protect against engagement in deliberate self-harm. Quadrants two and four, high normative and high clinical, are suggested to represent an increased risk of engaging in deliberate self-harm. The current study also investigated the association between shame and deliberate self-harm. It was hypothesised that participants within the first and third quartiles of dissociation severity would demonstrate lower levels of harmful behaviours than those in quadrants two and four. Second, it was hypothesised that higher levels of shame would be associated with higher levels of deliberate self-harm. Students from the University of Canterbury (n = 247) completed three measures assessing trait dissociation, state and trait shame, and deliberate self-harm. Results did not support Karpel and Jerram’s (2015) quartile risk model, rather they suggested a general increasing level of deliberate self-harm with heightened dissociation. Furthermore, trait shame was significantly associated with deliberate self-harm, while significantly more state shame was found to occur before engaging in deliberate self-harm relative to after. Collectively, the results suggest support for hypothesis two, that shame is related to increased deliberate self-harm, but do not indicate support for hypothesis one, the quartile risk model for dissociation and deliberate self-harm.