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Review Article



Self-Handicapping and Its Impact on Mental Health

Yeter Sinem Üzar Özçetin, Duygu Hiçdurmaz.

Abstract
Self handicapping is characterized by experiencing anxiety at succeeding a mission although the person has the capacity to fulfill the assignment or duty. It describes one’s showing tendency to link own failures to problems in own performance instead of own abilities to protect oneself from the possibility of failure. When individuals care about performance much but doubt about success, they display self-handicapping strategies to protect their self. Self-handicappers try to protect their self by internalizing successes and externalizing failures. This strategies help them feel well in both successes and failures. Self-handicapping becomes a trait of personality in time and the individual begins to use it continuously as a negative coping mechanism to protect his/her self and to avoid failures. These actions eliminates the capability of rational thinking and prevents solution of the problems as a result of irrational interpretations. Self-handicapping causes the decrease of life satisfaction and motivation, and causes the increase of maladaptation, negative mood, somatic symptoms and alcohol-drug abuse. As a conclusion, self-handicapping hinders performance and this negative performance influences adaptation and psychological well-being. The most essential approach to prevent occurrence of self-handicapping behaviours is empowerment of the self.

Key words: Self-handicapping, self, self-efficacy, self-esteem, mental health


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