An Exploration of the Relationship between Interpersonal Needs and Nonsuicidal Self-Injury in Adolescents
Keywords:nonsuicidal self-injury, interpersonal-psychological theory of suicide, interpersonal needs, thwarted belongingness, perceived burdensomeness
Nonsuicidal self-injury has become a worrying phenomenon among adolescents worldwide, emphasising the need for increasing public health awareness and exploration of the factors associated with this behaviour. This study was framed using Joiner’s Interpersonal–Psychological Theory of Suicide and Nock and Prinstein’s four-function model of nonsuicidal self-injury. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between the interpersonal needs constructs of Joiner’s theory and nonsuicidal self-injury and is motivated by the need to explore the contagion of self-injury. A cross-sectional convenience sampling method was used to obtain a sample of 216 adolescents, who were recruited from four schools in the greater Durban area, South Africa. Regression analyses were performed to establish whether a relationship exists between the interpersonal needs constructs and nonsuicidal self-injury. The results indicated a positive relationship between perceived burdensomeness and the occurrence of nonsuicidal self-injury in this sample, thereby illuminating thwarted interpersonal needs as a contributor to the occurrence of nonsuicidal self-injury in adolescents.
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