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J Am Coll Health. 2011;59(8):691-8. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2010.529626.

Nonsuicidal self-injury in a college population: general trends and sex differences.

Author information

1
Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, Department of Human Development, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA. jlw43@cornell.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe basic nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) characteristics and to explore sex differences.

METHODS:

A random sample from 8 universities were invited to participate in a Web-based survey in 2006-2007; 38.9% (n = 14,372) participated. Analysis assessed sex differences in NSSI prevalence, practices, severity, perceived dependency, and help-seeking; adjusted odds ratios for NSSI characteristics were calculated by sex status.

RESULTS:

Lifetime NSSI prevalence rates averaged 15.3%. Females were more likely than males to self-injure because they were upset (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.6; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.3-2.1) or in hopes that someone would notice them (AOR = 1.6, 95% CI = 1.1-2.7). Males were 1.6 times (95% CI = 1.2-2.2) more likely to report anger and 4.0 times (95% CI = 2.3-6.8) more likely to report intoxication as an initiating factor. Sexual orientation predicted NSSI, particularly for women (Wald F = 8.81, p ≤ .000). Only 8.9% of the NSSI sample reported disclosing NSSI to a mental health professional.

CONCLUSIONS:

NSSI is common in college populations but varies significantly by sex and sexual orientation. NSSI disclosure is low among both sexes.

PMID:
21950249
DOI:
10.1080/07448481.2010.529626
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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