Prevalence of nonsuicidal self-injury and its risk and protective factors among adolescents in Taiwan

Min Pei Lin, Jianing You, Yaxuan Ren, Jo Yung Wei Wu, Wei Hsuan Hu, Cheng Fang Yen, Xu Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The present study aimed to investigate the prevalence of nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) in a large representative sample of secondary school students and identified the psychosocial risk and protective factors. Using a cross-sectional design, 2170 participants were recruited from senior high schools throughout Taiwan using both stratified and cluster sampling. The one-year prevalence of NSSI was found to be 20.1%. Results suggested that compared to non-injurers, episodic self-injurers reported higher levels of neuroticism and openness, while repetitive self-injurers reported higher levels of neuroticism, openness, avoidance/emotion-focused coping, and virtual social support, and lower levels of self-esteem and cognitive reconstruction/problem-focused coping. Compared to episodic self-injurers, repetitive self-injurers reported a higher level of avoidance/ emotion-focused coping. Additionally, compared to non-injurers, mild self-injurers reported higher levels of neuroticism and openness, while severe self-injurers reported higher levels of neuroticism, openness, avoidance/emotion-focused coping, and virtual social support, and lower levels of self-esteem and cognitive reconstruction/problem-focused coping. Our study found that NSSI is fairly prevalent among secondary school students in Taiwan. Psychosocial risk factors, especially maladaptive coping strategies, should be given special attention when examining adolescents with NSSI. Regarding protective factors, enhancing self-esteem should be the focus of formulating effective intervention strategies for NSSI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-127
Number of pages9
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume255
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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