Year: 2022 Source: Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. (2022), 52(5), 898-907. SIEC No: 20221114
Objective Self-injurious behavior (SIB) is a significant public health concern in the United States, especially among adolescents with histories of maltreatment. This study compared maltreatment characteristics and reasons for SIB between three homogenous samples of adolescents with either: (1) non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI); (2) suicide attempt/s (SA), and (3) typically developing controls (TDC). Method Participants (N = 124) aged 13–17 years completed questionnaires about their maltreatment and SIB histories. Results Maltreatment rates were as follows: 90% NSSI group, 76% SA group, and 40% TDC group. Adolescents in the NSSI group reported significantly higher rates of emotional neglect compared to the SA group. Maltreated adolescents in the NSSI and SA groups reported the same top three SIB reasons: (1) get rid of bad feelings, (2) mental state at the time, and (3) problems with family. However, maltreated NSSI participants were significantly more likely to engage in SIB for emotion regulation reasons than maltreated SA participants, who were more likely to engage in SIB for interpersonal reasons. Physical neglect and physical abuse also arose as significant predictors of specific SIB reasons. Conclusions Our findings help elucidate the maltreatment profiles and reasons for SIB among adolescents engaged in NSSI or SA. Specific maltreatment experiences may also influence the reasons why adolescents engaged in SIB.