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Emotional Antecedents and Consequences of Deliberate Self-Harm and Suicide Attempts


Department of Psychology (RCB 5246), Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, Canada V5A 1S6; E-mail:


Emotional experiences immediately prior to (emotional antecedents) and following (emotional consequences) deliberate self-harm and suicide attempts in female inmates (N = 63) were examined. Anger was the antecedent emotion reported by the largest proportion of individuals who had engaged in deliberate self-harm (45.16%), suicide attempts (40.9%), and ambivalent suicide attempts (30%). Relief and other positive emotional shifts were more common in deliberate self-harm (41.94%) (involving no intent to die) than in suicide attempts or ambivalent suicide attempts, particularly for persons with borderline personality disorder. These findings underscore the utility of discriminating between deliberate self-harm and suicidal behavior and highlight the potential role of anger in triggering such behaviors.