This study examined the relationship between frequency of exposure to non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) and engagement in NSSI among adolescents. Ninety inpatient adolescents with a history of NSSI, ages 12 to 17, completed a structured interview. The majority of participants had learned about NSSI prior to initiating the behavior themselves. More frequent exposure to specific methods of NSSI was associated with greater frequency of using those same methods. Greater exposure to NSSI in the media and seeking out NSSI content were related to greater frequency of engagement in NSSI. Clinicians may help those who self-injure to become more knowledgeable and educated consumers of media to prevent NSSI behavior and contagion.
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