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29-06-2018 | Original Paper | Uitgave 11/2018

Journal of Child and Family Studies 11/2018

Non-Suicidal Self-Injury Among Male Adjudicated Adolescents: Psychosocial Concerns, Coping Responses, Diagnoses, and Functions

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 11/2018
Jenna R. Silverman, Emma H. Ross, Christopher A. Kearney
Belangrijke opmerkingen
Procedures were in accordance with university and correctional facility policies regarding research with human participants, including IRB approval. All adolescents at the correctional facility were eligible to participate. Parents of 99 youth provided consent (and all youth provided assent) and 4 youth aged 18 years provided self-consent.


Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) refers to self-inflicted physical injury without suicidal intent. NSSI is particularly common in forensic settings and associated with several psychosocial concerns, coping responses, diagnoses, and functions, but little information is available regarding NSSI in adjudicated male adolescents. The present study examined the frequency and types of NSSI among adjudicated male adolescents (n = 103) and assessed the relationships between NSSI history, psychosocial concerns, coping responses, diagnoses, and functions within this population. Approximately two-thirds (66%) reported NSSI history. Participants with NSSI history reported poorer social adaptation and greater alienation and boredom, aggression, and emotional lability than controls. Youth with high-frequency NSSI were also more likely to utilize emotional discharge as an unhealthy coping response than controls. In addition, participants with high-frequency NSSI were more likely than controls to meet criteria for a mood or anxiety disorder. Function of NSSI primarily surrounded anxiety reduction/affect regulation, punishment, dissociation reduction, and social/sensation-seeking. NSSI appears to be prevalent among male adjudicated youths, and the findings suggest that the relationship between NSSI history, psychosocial concerns, coping responses, and functions is nuanced and could inform more calibrated assessment and treatment strategies.

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