Year: 2023 Source: Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. (2020), 50(6), 1091-1096. SIEC No: 20230099
Objective Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is of concern given the increased risk for suicide attempt. Prevalence rates of NSSI are highest among adolescents and young adults. These groups also exhibit the highest rates of Internet use. Previous research suggests that online communication of NSSI can serve as both a risk and protective factor related to NSSI engagement. This study explored online disinhibition in the context of NSSI e-communities as a potential factor that could contribute to opposing NSSI outcomes. Method The study sample consisted of 200 individuals 18 years or older (M = 21.76, SD = 5.24) recruited from social networking sites (i.e., Reddit, LiveJournal). These participants provided self-report of their NSSI histories and degree of online disinhibition. Results Those who engaged in Internet communication of NSSI at the highest level endorsed more online disinhibition than those less involved with NSSI content. Furthermore, within this group of high communicators, increased toxic disinhibition predicted lower lifetime frequency of NSSI. Conclusions This study suggests that online behavior, including toxic disinhibition, may contribute to NSSI outcomes. Online disinhibition and its relationship to NSSI should be an area of continued research. Cyberbullying may be an additional construct of interest in future studies of NSSI e-communication.