The Correlation Between Emotional Dysregulation and Deliberate Self-harm Among College Students in Malang


This study aimed to examine the correlation between emotional dysregulation and self-harm behavior among college students in Malang city. The research topic was based on the phenomenon of self-harm among college students. A quantitative and descriptive correlational approach was used. The population of this sample was students from various universities in Malang who had committed acts of self-harm, a total sample of 94 college students were obtained by accidental sampling. Two instruments were used, namely Difficulty in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS-18) (α = .840, n = 94) to measure emotional dysregulation and Deliberate Self-Harm Inventory (DHSI) to measure self-harm behavior (α = .818, n = 94). The result of the study showed a significance value of .000 (< .05) and a correlation coefficient of .726. Based on these results, it can be said that there is a relationship between emotional dysregulation and self-harm behavior.

Keywords: emotional dysregulation, deliberate self-harm, college students

[1] Adinda S T, Prastuti E. Regulasi emosi dan dukungan sosial: Sebagai prediktor ide bunuh diri mahasiswa. Journal An-Nafs: Kajian Penelitian Psikologi. 2021;6(1):135-151.

[2] American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM 5. Arlington, VA: AmericanPsychiatric Association; 2013.

[3] Anderson N L, Crowther J H. Using the experiential avoidance model of nonsuicidal self-injury: Understanding who stops and who continues. Archives of Suicide Research. 2012;16(2):124-134.

[4] Arnett J J College students as emerging adults: The developmental implications of the college context. Emerging Adulthood. 2016;4(3):219-222.

[5] Bryan C, Bryan A. Nonsuicidal self injury among a sample of United states military personnel and veterans enrolled in college classes. Journal of Clinical Psychology. 2014;70(9):874-885.

[6] Chan M K, Bhatti H, Meader N, et al. Predicting suicide following self-harm: Systematic review of risk factors and risk scales. The British Journal of Psychiatry. 2016;209(4):277-283.

[7] Chen W L, Chun C C. Association between emotion dysregulation and distinct groups of non-suicidal self-injury in Taiwanese female adolescents. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019;16(18):3361.

[8] Davis T S, Mauss I B, Lumian D, et al. Emotional reactivity and emotion regulation among adults with a history of self-harm: aboratory self-report and functional MRI evidence. Journal of Abnormal Psyhology. 2014;123(3):499.

[9] Ewing L, Hamza C A, Willoughby T. Stressful experiences, emotion dysregulation, and nonsuicidal self-injury among university students. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. 2019;48(7):1379-1389.

[10] Gillies D, Christou M A, Dixon A C, et al. Prevalence and Characteristics of Self-Harm in Adolescents: Meta-Analyses Of Community-Based Studies 1990-2015. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. 2018;57(10):733-741.

[11] Gratz K L. Risk factors for and functions of deliberate self-harm: An empirical and conceptual a review. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice. 2003;10(2):192.

[12] Gratz K L, Roemer L. Multidimensional assessment of emotion regulation and dysregulation: Development, factor structure, and initial validation of the difficulties in emotion regulation scale. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment. 2004;26(1):41-54.

[13] Gratz K L. Measurement of deliberate self-harm: Preliminary data on the deliberate self harm inventory. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment. 2001;23(4):253-263.

[14] Gross J J. (ed.) Handbook of emotion regulation. Guilford publications; 2013;(recheck the year).

[15] Heath N L, Carsley D, De Riggi M E, Mills D, Mettler J. The relationship between mindfulness, depressive symptoms, and non-suicidal self-injury amongst adolescents. Archives of Suicide Research. 2016;20(4):635-649.

[16] Ho K. A quarter of Indonesians have experienced suicidal thoughts, (Online). 2019. Diakses 23 September 2021. ( have-experiencedasuicidal-thou/)

[17] Holliday R, Smith N B, Monteith L L. An initial investigation of nonsuicidal self-injury among male and female survivors of military sexual trauma. Psychiatry Research. 2018;268:335-339.

[18] Jacobson C M, Hill R M, Pettit J W, Grozeva D. The association of interpersonal and intrapersonal emotional experiences with non-suicidal self-injury in young adults. Archives of Suicide Research. 2015;19(4):401-413.

[19] Jannah S R, Yuliadi, Scarvanovi B W. The mediating effect of self-criticism on college students’ emotion dysregulation and intention to self-harm. Psikohumaniora: Jurnal Penelitian Psikologi. 2022;7(1):65-76.

[20] Kharsati N, Bhola P. Patterns of non-suicidal self-injurious behaviours among college students in India. International Journal of Social Psychiatry. 2015;61(1):39-49.

[21] Kiekens G, Hasking P, Claes L, et al. Predicting the incidence of non-suicidal selfinjury in college students. European Psychiatry. 2019;59, 44-51.

[22] Klonsky E D, Victor S E, Saffer B Y. Nonsuicidal self-injury: What we know, and what we need to know. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. 2014;59(11):565-568. DOI:10.1177/070674371405901101.

[23] Lewis S P, Arbuthnott A E. Nonsuicidal self-injury: Characteristics, functions, and strategies. Journal of College Student Psychotherapy. 2012;26(3):185-200.

[24] Maidah D. Self injury pada mahasiswa (Studi kasus pada mahasiswa pelaku selfinjury). [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Semarang: Universitas Negeri Semarang; 2013.

[25] McKenzie K C, Gross J J. Nonsuicidal self-injury: An emotion regulation perspective. Psychopathology. 2014;47(4):207-219.

[26] Memon M A, Ting H, Cheah J H, Thurasamy R, Chuah F, Cham T H. Sample size for survey research: Review and recommendations. Journal of Applied Structural Equation Modelling. 2020;4(2):1-20.

[27] Midkiff M F, Lindsey C R, Meadows E A. The role of coping self-efficacy in emotion regulation and frequency of NSSI in young adult college students. Cogent Psychology. 2018;5(1):1520437.

[28] National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). Self- Harm in over 8s: Long-Term Management. Clinical Guideline [CG133]. NICE, 2011. (

[29] Nock M K. Self-injury. Annual review of clinical psychology. 2010;6(1):339-363.

[30] Oakley L. Exploring student loneliness in higher education. Springer International Publishing; 2020.

[31] Pollock N C, McCabe G A, Southard A C, Zeigler-Hill V. Pathological personality traits and emotion regulation difficulties. Personality and Individual Differences. 2016;95:168-177.

[32] Reis M, de Matos M G, Ramiro L, Figueira I. Understanding self-harm in young people: An emotional unbalance in need for intervention. Problems of Psychology in the 21st Century. 2012;4:50-61.

[33] Robinson K, Garisch J A, Wilson M S. Nonsuicidal self-injury thoughts and behavioural characteristics: Associations with suicidal thoughts and behaviours among community adolescents. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2021;282:1247-1254.

[34] Rolston A, Lloyd-Richardson E. What is emotion regulation and how do we do it. Cornell Research Program on Self-Injury and Recovery. 2017;1-5.

[35] Santrock J W. Life-span development. 13th ed. New York: McGraw Hill; 2011.

[36] Stein L. The relationship between self-harm and college students. Disertasi. Texas: Texas Tech University; 2012.

[37] Thompson R A. Emotion dysregulation: A theme in search of definition. Development and psychopathology. 2019;31(3):805-815.

[38] Victor S E, Klonsky E D. Validation of a brief version of the difficulties in emotion regulation scale (DERS-18) in five samples. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment. 2016;38(4):582-589.

[39] Weiss N H, Sullivan T P, Tull M T. Explicating the role of emotion dysregulation in risky behaviors: A review and synthesis of the literature with directions for future research and clinical practice. Current Opinion in Psychology. 2015;3:22–29.

[40] Wester K L, Ivers N, Villalba J A, Trepal H C, Henson R. The relationship between nonsuicidal self injury and suicidal ideation. Journal of Counseling & Development. 2016;94(1):312.

[41] Wolff J C, Thompson E, Thomas S A, et al. Emotion dysregulation and non-suicidal self-injury: A systematic review and meta-analysis. European Psychiatry. 2019;59:25- 36.

[42] Wu D, Rockett I R, Yang T, Feng X, Jiang S, Yu L. Deliberate self-harm among Chinese medical students: A population-based study. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2016;202:137-144.