Sunday, April 9, 2017

Blog Assignment #9

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Research Question: Can teaching grit to students reduce their frequency to self-harm?
Originally after developing this question I thought that teaching grit to students, a normally positive characteristic, would influence them to self-harm less.
Argument: Students with a fixed mindset engage in self-injurious activities more frequently and are at a higher risk of committing suicide when they exhibit elevated grit and the ability to persevere.
My research concluded that in order for an individual to engage in a suicide attempt with clear intent to die, one must overcome the distress associated with pain and death. In other words to engage in suicidal behavior, the individual must be able to persevere through difficult and frightening emotional experiences.
Counter Argument: An individual engages in suicidal behavior to escape emotional distress or aversive self-awareness. Individuals experience a momentary release to combat their depression instead of building a tolerance to pain (Chatard & Selimbegoic).
This theory suggests that perseverance is not a factor in NSSI and that self-injury has no correlation to suicidal behavior. However, this lack of perseverance is characteristic of a fixed mindset which is synonymous with depression and the inability to cope when experiencing failure. If a failure causes a student to self-harm then it is vital that we condition them to have a growth mindset. Training students to have a growth mindset at a young age could help to avoid the low self-esteem that is generated when a student who has a fixed mindset experiences failure (Waitzkin).

Monday, April 3, 2017

Blog Assignment #8

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My main case is a study conducted by Anestis & Selby to indicate whether or not persistence facilitates suicidal behavior. Their idea is that grit and perseverance amplifies the relationship between NSSI and suicide with a clear intent to die. There were 604 participants in this study from undergraduate psychology courses. These students received credit for filling out an online questionnaire that first asked them to rank themselves using Duckworth's, "Short Grit Scale". This is a 12-item self-report scale that measures the degree to which individuals tend to persist towards long-term goals. Additionally, they were asked to complete the "Deliberate Self-Harm Inventory" developed by Gratz, which asses an individual's lifetime history of NSSI (frequency, duration and method). In all 162 (26.8%) of the participants endorsed a history of NSSI. Of the students who endorsed a prior episode of clear suicidal attempt, 26 (70.3%) of them reported a history of NSSI. The findings support the theory that frequently engaging in NSSI can increase one’s ability to tolerate the physical and emotional distress of bodily harm. These findings indicate that a general capacity for perseverance may facilitate suicidal behavior by enabling an individual to overcome fear and pain in the pursuit of death. Although, grit and perseverance are usually positive traits for most people in most situations, there may be select scenarios in which they actually facilitate an increased risk toward suicidal behavior.