Department or Program



Research suggests that nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) is often employed as an emotion regulation strategy. Individuals who are high in trait negative affectivity (NA) and trait rumination may engage in NSSI to distract themselves from overwhelming negative emotions, a strategy referred to as the Emotional Cascade Model (ECM) of NSSI. In order to test if high NA and rumination is associated with mood responses, two studies were conducted. The first study, consisting of an analysis of a subset of Harvard Research Clinical Laboratory’s data, showed that high trait rumination and baseline NA are associated with mood improvements during pain. The second study, an experiment conducted at Bates College, detected no statistically significant differences in mood responses during pain of individuals who were high on both NA and rumination and those who were not. However, a trend towards greater mood improvements during pain and post pain in individuals who were high on both trait rumination and NA suggested that in a study with sufficient statistical power, the combined effects of these variables could emerge. Findings indicate that the combination of NA and rumination in healthy controls may be of importance in contributing to heightened distraction effects of pain. Furthermore, the importance of the ECM and pain offset relief theories were partially supported.

Level of Access

Restricted: Embargoed [Bates Community After Expiration]

First Advisor

Low, K.G.

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages