Exploring thematic nightmare content and associated self-harm risk

Hochard, KD, Ashcroft, S, Carroll, J, Heym, N ORCID: 0000-0003-2414-8854 and Townsend, E, 2017. Exploring thematic nightmare content and associated self-harm risk. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. ISSN 0363-0234 (Forthcoming)

PubSub8933_Heym.pdf - Pre-print

Download (553kB) | Preview


Nightmares have been shown to be robust predictors of self-harm risk, beyond depressive symptoms and hopelessness at times. However, few studies have investigated associations between nightmare content and increased self-harm risk. The present study explored associations of thematic nightmare content with history of self-harm, and risk of self-harm phenomena the morning following a nightmare. A mixed-method diary study was employed. Prospective nightmare reports were obtained from 72 participants. A total of 47 nightmare reports met inclusion criteria and were analyzed for themes using inductive thematic analysis. Chi-square and bootstrap Pearson’s correlation tests were performed to assess the associations between nightmare themes and self-harm history and risk of self-harm phenomena following a nightmare. 'Powerlessness to Change Behavior' was associated a history of self-harm engagement, whereas 'Financial Hardship' indicated reduced risk. Themes were not significantly associated with increased risk of self-harm phenomena following a nightmare. Content may be of use in detecting lifetime history of self-harm engagement particularly in populations where disclosure is seen as taboo. However, nightmare symptom severity remains better indicators of risk. Evidence for the utility of nightmare content in assessing immediate self-harm risk is presently lacking. Replication with increased power is recommended.

Item Type: Journal article
Alternative Title: Nightmare content and self-harm [running head]
Publication Title: Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
Creators: Hochard, K.D., Ashcroft, S., Carroll, J., Heym, N. and Townsend, E.
Publisher: Wiley
Date: 2017
ISSN: 0363-0234
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 17 Aug 2017 07:24
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2017 07:24
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/31423

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View


Views per month over past year


Downloads per month over past year