Year: 2023 Source: Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. (2020), 50(5), 1007-1024. SIEC No: 20230125
Objective Evidence suggests that individuals without a history of nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) are likely to view NSSI as a stigmatized behavior. However, there is limited evidence evaluating the presence of self-stigma among individuals who have engaged in NSSI. Methods We recruited a university sample (n = 351) and employed implicit and explicit measures to examine the degree of stigmatization toward those with NSSI scarring, as compared to nonintentional disfigurement (i.e., accidental scarring) and to tattoos (i.e., a culturally sanctioned form of intentional tissue alteration). We examined the extent to which bias is related to indicators of NSSI severity among those with a history of NSSI. Results We provide evidence that negative biases toward NSSI may represent the effects of self-stigma. However, findings suggest that biases were generally attenuated among participants with a history of NSSI as compared to those without. Participants who had lower levels of NSSI explicit bias were more likely to have a history of more severe engagement in NSSI; however, no significant relationships were found between implicit bias and NSSI severity indicators. Conclusions We present a theoretical rationale for attenuated biases among individuals with a history of NSSI and discuss implications of this research for NSSI recovery.