The Role of Basic Need Satisfaction in the Onset, Maintenance, and Cessation of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury: An Application of Self-Determination Theory

A. Ann Emery, Nancy L. Heath, Devin J. Mills

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present study applied self-determination theory to examine the onset, maintenance, and cessation of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) in adolescents. Specifically, the study examined the relationship between the basic psychological needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness, and NSSI status. Participants were classified into the NSSI Maintain (n = 30), NSSI Start (n = 44), NSSI Stop (n = 21), or Control (n = 98) groups based on NSSI status over 2 time points within a 12-month period. Repeated measures multiple analysis of variance was employed. Satisfaction of the need for competence decreased over time in all adolescents. Adolescents who maintained NSSI behavior reported significantly lower levels of need satisfaction compared to adolescents reporting no history of NSSI engagement, and adolescents who began NSSI over the course of the study reported significantly lower levels of need satisfaction compared to those reporting no history of NSSI engagement. The findings suggest that need satisfaction varies as a function of NSSI status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-424
Number of pages12
JournalArchives of Suicide Research
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 3 2017

Keywords

  • basic need satisfaction
  • cessation
  • maintenance
  • non-suicidal self-injury
  • onset
  • self-determination theory

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