Emotional Dysregulation, Disordered Eating, and Self-harm: Associations and Mediating Pathways

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In this Papers Podcast, Dr. Naomi Warne, a Research Fellow at the University of Bristol, and Dr. Helen Bould, a consultant senior lecturer in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the same institution, discuss their Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry (JCPP) paper, ‘Emotional dysregulation in childhood and disordered eating and self-harm in adolescence: prospective associations and mediating pathways‘ (doi.org/10.1111/jcpp.13738). There is an overview of the paper, methodology, key findings, and implications for practice.

Discussion points include;

  • The comorbidity between disordered eating, self-harm, and also emotional dysregulation
  • The three potential mediators of the association between emotional dysregulation and subsequent disordered eating and self-harm.
  • The relevance of social cognition and experiences of being bullied as potential mediators
  • How mediating pathways appear to differ by sex and outcomes
  • Suggestions for interventions based on potential useful targets for the prevention and treatment of disordered eating and self-harm
  • Advice for CAMH professionals and policy makers.

In this series, we speak to authors of papers published in one of ACAMH’s three journals. These are The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry (JCPP)The Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMH) journal; and JCPP Advances.

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Dr. Naomi Warne
Dr. Naomi Warne

Dr. Naomi Warne is a Research Fellow at the University of Bristol. Her research interests include identifying factors that can increase risk for mental health problems and considering how these factors can be targeted to prevent and treat mental illness. Her previous work has focused on the psychology and epidemiology of mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders and self-harm in young people. Dr Warne is currently working with young people, parents, schools, art therapists and mental health professionals to develop a novel art-based programme aimed at preventing anxiety and depression in UK secondary schools.

Dr. Helen Bould
Dr. Helen Bould

Dr. Helen Bould is a consultant senior lecturer in child and adolescent psychiatry and NIHR advanced fellow at the University of Bristol and Gloucestershire Health and Care Foundation Trust. Her research focuses on developing a better understanding of eating disorders in order to improve their prevention and treatment.

Other resources

  • Featured paper ‘Emotional dysregulation in childhood and disordered eating and self-harm in adolescence: prospective associations and mediating pathways’, (2022). Naomi Warne, Jon Heron, Becky Mars, Francesca Solmi, Lucy Biddle, David Gunnell, Gemma Hammerton, Paul Moran, Marcus Munafò, Ian Penton-Voak, Andy Skinner, Anne Stewart, Helen Bould


Really interesting research. I know from several papers DBT is showing promise as a good intervention for self-harm, I was wondering if any hypotheses have been put forward to explain why it may provide better results than psychodynamic / CBT.

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