Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Dr. Alan Leschied


Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is the intentional destruction of body tissue without suicidal intent and for purposes not socially sanctioned. Approximately 14 to 17% of nonclinical adolescent populationss and over 40% of clinical adolescent populations use NSSI to cope. NSSI is consistently related to childhood maltreatment and the objective of this study was to examine differences between maltreated individuals who do and do not self-injure. Groups were compared on risk factors of childhood maltreatment and self-injury with the intent of creating a risk profile for NSSI. Participants who had experienced abuse/neglect scored higher on depression than a contrast group, regardless of NSSI status. In addition, individuals who experienced abuse/neglect and self-injured scored significantly higher on anxiety than the contrast group. Future research should continue to explore risk factors and pathways to NSSI in order for the etiology of this complex and addicting method of coping to be better understood.