The best friend and friendship group influence on adolescent nonsuicidal self-injury

Jianing You*, Min Pei Lin, Kei Fu, Freedom Leung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined associations of peer socialization and selection, over time, with nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) among 5,787 (54.2 % females) Chinese community adolescents. Both effects were tested using two aspects of adolescents' friendship networks: the best friend and the friendship group. Participants completed questionnaires assessing NSSI, depressive symptoms and maladaptive impulsive behaviors at two waves of time over a 6-month period. Results showed that even after controlling for the effects of depressive symptoms and maladaptive impulsive behaviors, the best friends' engagement in NSSI still significantly predicted adolescents' own engagement in NSSI. Adolescents' friendship groups' NSSI status also significantly predicted their own NSSI status and frequency. Additionally, adolescents with NSSI tended to join peer groups with other members also engaging in NSSI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)993-1004
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Aug


  • Friendship
  • Nonsuicidal self-injury
  • Peer influence
  • Peer selection
  • Peer socialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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