Abstract of Talk: Sleep disturbance as a marker of risk for self-harm in young people

Self-harm represents a public health concern worldwide, with approximately 10% of adolescents reporting having engaged in self-harm at some stage in their lifetime. A converging body of research suggests that sleep disturbances increases vulnerability to the development and maintenance of self-harm during this developmental period. Whilst this relationship is well established, the mechanisms linking these factors remain unclear. In order to advance understanding as to why subjective sleep disturbance confers increased self-harm risk in young people, the research to be discussed tested predictions derived from The Integrated Motivational Volitional (IMV) Model of Suicidal Behaviour. Specifically, the role of perceived defeat and entrapment were examined as possible psychological processes driving the link between sleep and self-harm. Research of this nature has the potential to contribute to the improvement of self-harm risk assessment and prevention in young people experiencing difficulties with their sleep.