, Volume 41, Issue 6, pp 993-1004
Date: 10 Mar 2013

The Best Friend and Friendship Group Influence on Adolescent Nonsuicidal Self-injury

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This study examined associations of peer socialization and selection, over time, with nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) among 5,787 (54.2 % females) Chinese community adolescents. Both effects were tested using two aspects of adolescents’ friendship networks: the best friend and the friendship group. Participants completed questionnaires assessing NSSI, depressive symptoms and maladaptive impulsive behaviors at two waves of time over a 6-month period. Results showed that even after controlling for the effects of depressive symptoms and maladaptive impulsive behaviors, the best friends’ engagement in NSSI still significantly predicted adolescents’ own engagement in NSSI. Adolescents’ friendship groups’ NSSI status also significantly predicted their own NSSI status and frequency. Additionally, adolescents with NSSI tended to join peer groups with other members also engaging in NSSI.

This research was supported in part by South China Normal University Young Teacher Research Cultivation Grant 2012KJ013 awarded to Dr. Jianing You.