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What is the relationship between rejection and self-harm or suicidality in adulthood?

Cawley, Rosanne; Pontin, Eleanor E; Touhey, Jade; Sheehy, Kate; Taylor, Peter James.
J Affect Disord; 242: 123-134, 2019 Jan 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30173060

BACKGROUND:

Rejection is an adverse experience that may help explain the heightened risk of self-harm and suicide amongst many societal groups. The aim of this systematic review was to determine the relationship between rejection experiences and self-harm and suicidal ideation.

METHOD:

The databases PsychINFO, CINAHL, Medline and Web of Science were searched from inception until May 2017 using key search terms. Quantitative studies were included if they were; (i) mean sample age over 18; (ii) in the English language; (iii) and had a measure of self-harm or suicidal behaviour and a measure of rejection. The results were synthesised narratively.

RESULTS:

Eighteen studies were identified for the review. Fifteen out of the eighteen studies found a significant positive association between rejection and self-harm. This association was identified within several marginalised groups known to be at risk of self-harm, including those from lesbian, gay or bisexual sexuality or those who identify as transgender.

LIMITATIONS:

Heterogeneity between the measures of self-harm, suicidal behaviour and rejection, as well as the lack of longitudinal analyses made it difficult to draw firm conclusions.

CONCLUSION:

Perceived rejection may leave some individuals at risk of self-harm and might account for the elevated risk in marginalised societal groups. Interventions focused on modifying rejection experiences may help reduce the risk of self-harm in this population.