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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2008 Feb;76(1):22-7. doi: 10.1037/0022-006X.76.1.22.

Identifying clinically distinct subgroups of self-injurers among young adults: a latent class analysis.

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1
Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-2500, USA. e.david.klonsky@stonybrook.edu

Abstract

High rates of nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI; 14%-17%) in adolescents and young adults suggest that some self-injurers may exhibit more or different psychiatric problems than others. In the present study, the authors utilized a latent class analysis to identify clinically distinct subgroups of self-injurers. Participants were 205 young adults with a history of 1 or more NSSI behaviors. Latent classes were identified on the basis of method (e.g., cutting vs. biting vs. burning), descriptive features (e.g., self-injuring alone or with others), and functions (i.e., social vs. automatic). The analysis yielded 4 subgroups of self-injurers, which were then compared on measures of depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, and suicidality. Almost 80% of participants belonged to 1 of 2 latent classes characterized by fewer or less severe NSSI behaviors and fewer clinical symptoms. A 3rd class (11% of participants) performed a variety of NSSI behaviors, endorsed both social and automatic functions, and was characterized by high anxiety. A 4th class (11% of participants) cut themselves in private, in the service of automatic functions, and was characterized by high suicidality. Clinical and research implications are discussed.

PMID:
18229979
DOI:
10.1037/0022-006X.76.1.22
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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