Characterizing gender differences in nonsuicidal self-injury: Evidence from a large clinical sample of adolescents and adults

Sarah E. Victor, Jennifer J. Muehlenkamp, Nicole A. Hayes, Gregory J. Lengel, Denise M. Styer, Jason J. Washburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

While nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) is common in both men and women, research exploring the intersection of NSSI and gender has been limited by the use of small samples of males drawn primarily from non-clinical populations. To address these limitations, we analyzed data from a large sample of patients enrolled in an NSSI partial hospitalization program (PHP) to compare males and females across several variables, including NSSI characteristics, correlates, and pre-post treatment outcomes. Results indicated similar NSSI characteristics and treatment outcomes for males and females, with few exceptions. Males notably reported lower severity levels for most NSSI correlates (e.g., psychopathology, suicidality), highlighting the need to screen males for NSSI even when reporting comparatively less impairment. Finally, our results also suggest that PHP treatment for NSSI can be beneficial for both males and females. These findings have implications for the assessment, diagnosis, conceptualization, and treatment of NSSI in males and females.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-60
Number of pages8
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Volume82
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2018

Keywords

  • Deliberate self-harm
  • Gender
  • Nonsuicidal self-injury
  • Self-mutilation
  • Suicide
  • Treatment

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