Non-suicidal self-injury in adolescence: Interplay between psychological distress and parenting.
Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) represents a critical mental health concern with its high prevalence in adolescence and high risk for related psychopathological symptoms, suicide attempts, and completed suicide. Examining NSSI in nonclinical samples of adolescents is important to determine risk factors and intervene before NSSI reaches a severity requiring residential treatment. The overarching aim of this research program is to examine stress sensitivity, and its relationship with temperament and invalidation by caregivers, as a mechanism of onset, maintenance and recovery from NSSI. Using a multi-method approach the research program will explore: (1) intra- and interpersonal risk factors for onset and maintenance of NSSI in adolescence and (2) mechanisms of change related to recovery from NSSI. The first research line comprises both experimental and longitudinal designs to determine how temperament, stress sensitivity and interpersonal factors predict onset and maintenance of NSSI. In the research second line, sensitivity to interpersonal stress, as a mechanism of change, is examined in an RCT intervention study. The proposed studies promise to extend our understanding of underlying pathways towards NSSI and mechanisms of change across intrapersonal and interpersonal domains. This project will generate new model developments incorporating the complex interaction between intrapersonal and interpersonal domains not currently accounted for by current models (e.g.,Nock, 2009)