Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Dr. Alan Leschied


Despite extensive research suggesting childhood maltreatment is related to nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI), little research has examined the extent to which the differential effects of direct maltreatment (i.e., sexual and physical abuse) and indirect maltreatment (i.e., witnessing domestic violence) has on NSSI in relation to suicidal self injury (SSI). Moreover, more research is needed to understand the differences between NSSI and SSI. Participants consisted of 519 children/youth from a provincial tertiary care facility specializing in treating children with severe mental health challenges and nine community mental health facilities across Ontario, Canada. Logistic regression analyses revealed that children/youth that experienced indirect maltreatment were more likely to engage in NSSI whereas children/youth who experienced direct maltreatment were more likely to engage in SSI. Moreover, children/youth that have experienced both direct and indirect forms of maltreatment were not significantly more likely to engage in NSSI or SSI. The findings provide evidence for the differential effects of different types of childhood maltreatment and for the different contributors to NSSI and SSI. Implications for practice are discussed.