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What is the function of nail biting: an analog assessment study

Williams, T. I. ORCID:, Rose, R. and Chisholm, S. (2007) What is the function of nail biting: an analog assessment study. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 45 (5). pp. 989-995. ISSN 0005-7967

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.brat.2006.07.013


Objective: To compare the frequency of nail biting in 4 settings (interventions) designed to elicit the functions of nail biting and to compare the results with a self-report questionnaire about the functions of nail biting. Design: Randomised allocation of participants to order of conditions. Setting: University Psychology Department. Subjects: Forty undergraduates who reported biting their nails. Interventions: Left alone (boredom), solving maths problems (frustration), reprimanded for nail biting (contingent attention), continuous conversation (noncontingent attention). Main Outcome measures: Number of times the undergraduates bit their nails. Results: Nail biting occurred most often in two conditions, boredom and frustration. Conclusion: Nail biting in young adults occurs as a result of boredom or working on difficult problems, which may reflect a particular emotional state. It occurs least often when people are engaged in social interaction or when they are reprimanded for the behavior. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences
ID Code:13810
Uncontrolled Keywords:nail biting, randomised controlled trial, functional analysis, undergraduates, habit disorder, COLLEGE-STUDENTS, PERSONAL HABITS, NERVOUS HABITS, BODY-ROCKING, SELF-INJURY, BEHAVIORS, POPULATION, VARIABLES, VALIDITY, CHILDREN

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