Empirical Research

Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 39, Issue 5, pp 484-494

First online:

Perceived Dimensions of Parenting and Non-suicidal Self-injury in Young Adults

  • Jean-François BureauAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Ottawa Email author 
  • , Jodi MartinAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Ottawa
  • , Nathalie FreynetAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Ottawa
  • , Alexane Alie PoirierAffiliated withUniversité du Québec à Montréal
  • , Marie-France LafontaineAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Ottawa
  • , Paula CloutierAffiliated withMental Health Research Unit, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario

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Family experiences are influential in the development of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI). The current study aimed to identify specific dimensions underlying early parent–child relationships in association with NSSI. It was hypothesized that all relationship dimensions would be related with NSSI, with some dimensions being stronger predictors when accounting for shared variance. Gender differences were also assessed. Participants were grouped according to the endorsement of NSSI in the past 6 months, resulting in a Non-NSSI group (n = 1133) and a NSSI group (n = 105). Significant differences were found for the relationship dimensions between the two groups. When shared variance was accounted for, fear and alienation were the only dimensions predicting NSSI. Similar results were found for females (n = 887), while no analyses using males (n = 351) were significant. These results emphasize the need to acknowledge the role of parent–child relationships in prevention programs and intervention models for NSSI.


Non-suicidal self-injury Parent–child relationships Family experiences Young adulthood