Functions of nonsuicidal self-injury are differentially associated with suicide ideation and past attempts among childhood trauma survivors.
Roley-Roberts, M., Zielinski, M., Hurtado, G., Hovey, J., & Elhai, J.
Research into factors for suicide has revealed relations between trauma exposure and suicidality (e.g., Bridge, Goldstein, & Brent, 2006; Joiner, Sachs-Ericson, Wingate, Brown, Anestis, & Selby, 2007) wherein painful and provocative experiences (e.g., nonsuicidal self-injury [NSSI]) are an important link (e.g., Van Orden, Witte, Cukrowicz, Braithwaite, Selby, & Joiner, 2010; Smith, 2013). No prior research has assessed the relationship between functions of NSSI and suicidality among childhood trauma survivors. Participants who endorsed childhood trauma exposure (N = 121; Mage = 18.69, range 18–22) completed measures of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, NSSI, and suicidality. Multiple regressions assessing whether the four functions of NSSI predicted suicide ideation and past attempts after controlling for PTSD symptom severity found that only social negative reinforcement was associated with SI ( = .304, SE = .243, t = 2.23, p = .028), while only automatic negative reinforcement was associated with past attempts ( = .470, SE = .066, t = 2.25, p = .028). Findings highlight the importance of assessing NSSI functions when assessing suicidality among trauma survivors.