Disorders of Impulse Control and Self-Harm

Matthew K. Nock, Christine B. Cha and Halina J. Dour

in The Oxford Handbook of Clinical Psychology

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780195366884
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Disorders of Impulse Control and Self-Harm

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Disorders of impulse-control and self-harm are dangerous clinical problems that often present significant challenges for scientists and clinicians. In this chapter, we provide a comprehensive review of each disorder on the impulse-control spectrum. We begin by describing the clinical presentation and epidemiology of each disorder. Next, we discuss what is currently known about the etiology of these disorders, summarizing recent research on genetic/neurobiological factors, environmental factors, and psychological factors that appear to influence these disorders. The assessment and treatment of disorders of impulse-control and self-harm is complicated by the relatively low base-rate of these disorders, as well as by their dangerous and sensitive nature. Nevertheless, several evidence-based approaches to assessment and treatment have been developed and also are reviewed here. We conclude with recommendations for future scientific and clinical efforts aimed at better understanding, predicting, and preventing disorders of impulse-control and self-harm.

Keywords: Keyword; suicide; self-injury; self-harm; impulse; impulsiveness; impulsivity

Article.  20629 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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