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New insights in non-suicidal self-injury: a condition for further study

Edited by Paul Plener and Joerg Fegert

Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI) has been included in the Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) in section 3 as a "condition for further study", meaning that criteria for identifying a possible new disorder have been put out to the scientific and clinical community to see if the proposed construct holds value to justify its inclusion as a formal diagnosis. The past few years have seen a rise in studies focusing on NSSI. This rise is still continuous, with researchers trying to clarify aspects of a phenomenon that has received significant clinical attention, especially in adolescent populations.

At the time of the first Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health special issue on NSSI in 2012, it was still unclear whether (and if so, in which format) NSSI would be part of the DSM-5. This second special issue, also published in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health now goes a step further in presenting a plethora of in-depth studies on different aspects of NSSI, including functions of NSSI, diagnostic issues and NSSI in special populations, as well as outcomes and cessation patterns.

The International Society for the Study of Self-Injury (ISSS) held their 10th annual meeting this year in Heidelberg with participants from 12 countries. A wide variety of research was presented at the meeting demonstrating a substantial progress in the field, but also outlining the need for further research. Moreover, as NSSI research is a rapidly evolving global field the second installment of this series (September update) offers a guideline on conducting NSSI research. Anyone interested in NSSI will find new thoughts and future essential readings in both installments of this special article collection.

This series of articles has not been sponsored. All articles have undergone the journal’s standard peer review process, with final decisions made by the Editor-in-Chief. The Editor-in-Chief declares no competing interests.

  1. Content type: Research article

    Co-occurrence of problem behaviors, particularly across internalizing and externalizing spectra, increases the risk of suicidality (i.e., suicidal ideation and attempt) among youth.

    Authors: Alicia K Tanner, Penelope Hasking and Graham Martin

    Citation: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 2015 9:33

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  2. Content type: Review

    Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) has emerged as a significant psychiatric issue among youth. In addition to its high prevalence rates, NSSI is associated with a number of psychiatric issues and confers risk for...

    Authors: Elizabeth E Lloyd-Richardson, Stephen P Lewis, Janis L Whitlock, Karen Rodham and Heather T Schatten

    Citation: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 2015 9:37

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  3. Content type: Research article

    While several population-based studies report that pain is independently associated with higher rates of self-destructive behaviour (suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and self-injurious behaviour) in adults...

    Authors: Julian Koenig, Rieke Oelkers-Ax, Peter Parzer, Johann Haffner, Romuald Brunner, Franz Resch and Michael Kaess

    Citation: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 2015 9:32

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  4. Content type: Research article

    Research has identified more than a dozen functions of non-suicidal self-injury (NSI), but the conceptual and empirical overlap among these functions remains unclear. The present study examined the structure o...

    Authors: E. David Klonsky, Catherine R. Glenn, Denise M. Styer, Thomas M. Olino and Jason J. Washburn

    Citation: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 2015 9:44

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  5. Content type: Review

    Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is a common mental health concern among youth, and parents can be valuable supports for these youth. However, youth NSSI can have a significant impact on parents’ wellbeing, whi...

    Authors: Alexis E Arbuthnott and Stephen P Lewis

    Citation: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 2015 9:35

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  6. Content type: Research article

    Young adults are a high-risk group for nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI). It is important to have a better understanding of these behaviors in order to facilitate effective research, intervention, and treatment. ...

    Authors: Heather C Trepal, Kelly L Wester and Erin Merchant

    Citation: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 2015 9:36

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  7. Content type: Research article

    Whereas non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) and suicide attempts (SA) are rather common among adolescents, the description of risk factors has often failed to take migration into perspective. Our study aimed to de...

    Authors: Paul L Plener, Lara M Munz, Marc Allroggen, Nestor D Kapusta, Jörg M Fegert and Rebecca C Groschwitz

    Citation: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 2015 9:34

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  8. Content type: Research

    Conducting psychological research with adolescents is imperative for better understanding, prevention and treatment of mental illness. However there is concern that research addressing topics such as mental il...

    Authors: Penelope Hasking, Ruth C. Tatnell and Graham Martin

    Citation: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 2015 9:39

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  9. Content type: Research article

    Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) and suicidal ideation (SI) are both distressing and quite common, particularly in youth. Given the relationship between these two phenomena, it is crucial to learn how we can use...

    Authors: Sarah E. Victor, Denise Styer and Jason J. Washburn

    Citation: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 2015 9:20

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  10. Content type: Research article

    Self-injury is a complex issue, further complicated by the fact that up to half of young people who self-injure do not receive help. Young people who do receive help for self-injury claim they prefer to access...

    Authors: Megan Pumpa and Graham Martin

    Citation: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 2015 9:27

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  11. Content type: Research article

    Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is common among adolescents and linked to many maladaptive outcomes. This study aimed to assess the prevalence and correlates of NSSI among a community sample of New Zealand ado...

    Authors: Jessica Anne Garisch and Marc Stewart Wilson

    Citation: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 2015 9:28

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  12. Content type: Research article

    Factors affecting non-suicidal self-injury cessation are poorly understood. The aim of this study was to identify differences between individuals with current and past non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) in a larg...

    Authors: Janis Whitlock, Kemar Prussien and Celeste Pietrusza

    Citation: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 2015 9:19

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  13. Content type: Research article

    Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) is often accompanied by dysfunctional familial relationships. Problems within the family are also frequent triggers for NSSI.

    Authors: Taru Tschan, Marc Schmid and Tina In-Albon

    Citation: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 2015 9:17

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  14. Content type: Research article

    Using the objectification theory, scholars have theorized the sense of detachment and disregard for the body that results from continued body objectification are believed to put a person at greater risk for no...

    Authors: Jamie Duggan, Nancy Heath and Tina Hu

    Citation: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 2015 9:21

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  15. Content type: Research article

    Individuals identifying as a sexual minority report engaging in nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) at substantially higher rates compared to their heterosexual peers. Given that NSSI is a known risk factor for sui...

    Authors: Jennifer J. Muehlenkamp, Lori M. Hilt, Peter P. Ehlinger and Taylor McMillan

    Citation: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 2015 9:16

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  16. Content type: Research article

    The present study is the first to examine predictors and consequences of nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) in adolescence using parent-reported data in a longitudinal design. Across three time points, we examined...

    Authors: Imke Baetens, Laurence Claes, Patrick Onghena, Hans Grietens, Karla Van Leeuwen, Ciska Pieters, Jan R. Wiersema and James W. Griffith

    Citation: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 2015 9:24

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  17. Content type: Research article

    The Ottawa Self-Injury Inventory (OSI) is a self-report measure that offers a comprehensive assessment of nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI), including measurement of its functions and addictive features. In a pre...

    Authors: Mary K Nixon, Christine Levesque, Michèle Preyde, John Vanderkooy and Paula F. Cloutier

    Citation: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 2015 9:26

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