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Thirty-Third Annual Meeting of the Society for Research in Psychopathology

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155. Negative Emotional Response Inhibition (NERI) as a shared neurocognitive mechanism between nonsuicidal self-injury and eating disorders

Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) is highly comorbid with eating disorders (EDs; Fox et al., 2019). Emotion dysregulation may help explain the association between NSSI and EDs (Pisetsky et al., 2016). This study examines negative emotional response inhibition (NERI), a proposed neurocognitive mechanism underlying emotion dysregulation (Allen & Hooley, 2019), and its relationship to NSSI and EDs. Participants were an adult community sample (n = 105), including 45 reporting NSSI history in the Self-Injurious Thoughts and Behaviors Interview (Nock et al., 2007) and 25 exceeding clinical cutoffs on the Eating Disorder Examination-Questionnaire (EDE-Q; Fairburn & Beglin, 1994). Early and late stages of NERI were measured via the Emotional Go/No-Go (Hare et al., 2008) and Emotional Stop-Signal Tasks (Allen & Hooley, 2019), respectively. NSSI and EDE-Q scores were independently associated with worse late, but not early, NERI, and also correlated with each other, r(105) = .28, 95% CI: .06-.44. This correlation was not significant after controlling for late NERI, r(102) = .21, 95% CI = -.002-.40. Results further indicated an indirect relationship between NSSI and EDE-Q scores through late NERI, which explained nearly 22% of the overlapping variance in NSSI history and ED symptoms. Late NERI impairment may represent shared neurocognitive dysfunction in these conditions.

Devyn T. Malouf
Oberlin College

Ruth K. Bieber-Stanley
Oberlin College

Kenneth J.D. Allen
Oberlin College; Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University


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