Background: Previous studies revealed that female adolescents are more likely than males to engage in non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) to regulate negative emotions; however, the dimensions of emotion regulation that are associated with NSSI behavior in adolescents require further examination. The present study aimed to identify Taiwanese female adolescent clusters with NSSI engagement frequency and to evaluate the association of specific forms of emotion dysregulation with NSSI. Methods: The participants were 438 female adolescents (mean age = 15.23 years, SD = 1.24, range between 13 and 18) recruited from 11 high schools. Self-report questionnaires assessing NSSI, difficulties in emotion regulation, and positive and negative affect were administered, and 37% of respondents reported a history of NSSI. Results: The analysis of NSSI frequency yielded three groups: severe, moderate, and non-NSSI. High negative affect, low positive affect, and difficulties in all aspects of emotion regulation differentiated female adolescents in the severe NSSI group from their counterparts in the non-NSSI group. The moderate and severe NSSI groups were further distinguished by age of onset, negative affect, emotion regulation strategies, and impulse control. Adolescents classified in the severe group reported earlier onset of NSSI, higher negative affect, less emotion regulation strategies, and more difficulty with impulse control. Conclusions: The results indicate that assessments of NSSI and emotion regulation should be incorporated in youth mental health screening. The clinical implications of NSSI behavior intervention require further discussion.
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