Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Dr. Alan Leschied


Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is a pervasive problem within our society and has been increasing since the late 1980s. NSSI is the deliberate destruction of body tissue without the intention of suicide. In comparison, suicidal self-injury involves the intention of suicide. A sample of 8-18 year olds (N=519) were studied to explore how differences in age, gender and emotion regulation impacted their engagement in NSSI and SSI. Participants were grouped into NSSI, SSI and control groups. Findings indicated that emotion regulation abilities did not significantly differ between groups, the SSI group were significantly older than both NSSI and control groups, the frequency of self-harm was significantly higher for the NSSI group, and gender did not significantly differentiate any of the groups. Finally, emotion regulation ability was the only factor found to impact all groups in terms of frequency of self-harm. Overall, the findings point to the importance of emotion regulation skills in reducing self-harm.