Rates of Non-suicidal self-injury_A cross-sectional analysis of exposure

Rates of Non-suicidal self-injury_A cross-sectional analysis of exposure

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Rates of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of Exposure Jennifer J. Muehlenkamp Erica R. Hoff John-Gabriel Licht Jeri Ann Azure Samantha J. Hasenzahl Published online: 12 August 2008 # Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008 Abstract Research on the social influences associated with rates of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is scarce and limited to studies of contagion within inpatient and residential treatment settings. Using an archival dataset that included 1,965 college students, the current study examined whether exposure to acts of NSSI and/or suicidal behavior in others was associated with increased rates of NSSI. Results supported hypotheses in that participants who knew someone who had engaged in NSSI only, or knew someone who engaged in both NSSI and suicidal behavior were more likely to have engaged in NSSI compared to those not exposed. The findings provide preliminary, albeit indirect, evidence of the potential for social modeling to influence rates of NSSI within college students. Directions for future studies are offered. Keywords Non-suicidal self-injury . Deliberate self-harm . Contagion . Social learning . Modeling . College student . Exposure . Suicide There is concern that rates of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI; an intentional act resulting in immediate tissue damage without suicidal intent often performed to reduce emotional distress, Walsh 2006 ) are increasing among adolescents (Hawton et al. 2000 ;O Laughlin and Sherwood 2005 ) and college students, where prevalence rates range from fourteen to thirty-five percent (Gratz 2001 ; Whitlock et al. 2007 ). It is unclear what is fueling these possible increases, but one hypothesis is that acts of NSSI are influenced by social factors. Bandura s (1977 , 2001 ) social learning theory posits that behaviors such as NSSI can be learned through direct and indirect experiences within the social environment via social modeling. Prior research has established that problem behavior such as drinking (Wood et al. 2001 ), smoking Curr Psychol (2008) 27:234 241 DOI 10.1007/s12144-008-9036-8 J. J. Muehlenkamp ( * ) : E. R. Hoff : J.-G. Licht : J. A. Azure : S. J. Hasenzahl Department of Psychology, University of North Dakota, 319 Harvard St stop 8380, Grand Forks, ND 58202, USA e-mail: [email protected]
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(Leatherdale et al. 2005 ), disordered eating (Lieberman et al. 2001 ), and sexual behavior (Rodgers and Rowe 1993 ) are directly influenced by social modeling. Furthermore, research on suicidal behavior has found that individuals who are exposed to suicide attempts or deaths directly (siblings) or indirectly (media reports) are more likely to be suicidal and have made an attempt themselves (Brent et al. 2003
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This note was uploaded on 10/12/2011 for the course PSYC 1113 taught by Professor Hargett during the Fall '08 term at Oklahoma State.

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Rates of Non-suicidal self-injury_A cross-sectional analysis of exposure

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