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Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2015 Feb;61(1):39-49. doi: 10.1177/0020764014535755. Epub 2014 May 27.

Patterns of non-suicidal self-injurious behaviours among college students in India.

Author information

1
SAN-KER Hospital, Department of Clinical Psychology, Shillong, India.
2
Department of Clinical Psychology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore, India poornimabhola@gmail.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Non-suicidal self-injurious behaviour (NSSI) is a growing concern among youth and rarely reaches the attention of mental health and medical services.

AIMS:

The study explored the occurrence, methods, characteristics and reported reasons for NSSI among a sample of college students in India.

METHODS:

A total of 470 participants from undergraduate and postgraduate colleges completed the Functional Assessment of Self Mutilation (FASM) questionnaire.

RESULTS:

Results indicated that 31.2% of the participants reported NSSI in the past year, with the mean age of onset being 15.9 years. Moderate/severe forms of NSSI were reported by 19.8% of the sample. The most common method was self-hitting (15.2%) followed by cutting or carving skin (13.2%). A majority of self-injurers endorsed multiple methods of NSSI, and there were no significant gender differences in NSSI rates. The NSSI was performed both to regulate internal emotional states (automatic reinforcement) and to influence others in the environment (social reinforcement).The most commonly endorsed reasons for NSSI were 'to feel relaxed' and 'to get control of the situation', while the least frequently endorsed reasons were 'to make others angry' and 'to avoid college, work, or other activities'.

CONCLUSION:

The findings underscore the need to increase the awareness and understanding of NSSIs and to plan targeted interventions among college youth.

KEYWORDS:

Non-suicidal self-injurious behaviours; college; community; cutting; self-harm; youth

PMID:
24869850
DOI:
10.1177/0020764014535755
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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