Predicting nonsuicidal self-injury episodes over a discrete period of time in a sample of women diagnosed with bulimia nervosa: An analysis of self-reported trait and ecological momentary assessment based affective lability and previous suicide attempts




To examine the moderating effect of trait affective lability on the relationship between past suicidal behavior and future nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI).


A total of 127 adult females diagnosed with bulimia nervosa took part in this study. We hypothesized that individuals with greater levels of self-reported trait affective lability and a greater number of past suicide attempts would engage in a greater number of NSSI episodes over the course of 2 weeks than would individuals lacking elevations in one or both of those variables, controlling for average level of negative affect and affective lability as measured through ecological momentary assessment (EMA).


The two-way interaction of trait affective lability and past suicidal behavior predicted participants' number of NSSI episodes during the course of the study.


Interaction of self-reported trait affective lability and past suicidal behavior may exhibit clinical utility in the prediction of patients' imminent risk of engaging in NSSI. © 2011 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2012; 45:808–811)