Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is a complex behaviour, routinely engaged for emotion regulatory purposes. As such, a number of theoretical accounts regarding the aetiology and maintenance of NSSI are grounded in models of emotion regulation; the role that cognition plays in the behaviour is less well known. In this paper, we summarise four models of emotion regulation that have repeatedly been related to NSSI and identify the core components across them. We then draw on social cognitive theory to unite models of cognition and models of emotion in developing a new cognitive-emotional model of NSSI. Our model articulates how emotion regulation and cognition can work in concert to govern NSSI, and offers several new research questions that can be addressed within this framework.
- emotion regulation
- social cognition