Current Psychology

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 196–205

Theory of planned behaviour and parasuicide: An exploratory study


DOI: 10.1007/s12144-003-1016-4

Cite this article as:
O’Connor, R.C. & Armitage, C.J. Curr Psychol (2003) 22: 196. doi:10.1007/s12144-003-1016-4


Recent evidence suggests that parasuicide (deliberate self-harm) should be considered in terms of ‘normal’ rather than ‘abnormal’ behaviour. This study aimed to address this assertion by applying a social cognition model, for the first time, to parasuicidal behaviour. An extended theory of planned behaviour (TPB) model was tested on 55 individuals drawn from hospital and non-hospital populations. Thirty-eight percent of the sample (n=21) reported a history of deliberate self-harm. Findings supported the utility of the TPB: attitudes, subjective norm, self-efficacy, moral norm and anticipated affect discriminated significantly between those with and without a history of parasuicide. The extended TPB explained more than 50% of the variance associated with intentions to deliberately self-harm. These findings have considerable theoretical and practical implications for intervention. Future research should investigate the utility of the TPB employed within a prospective framework.

Copyright information

© Springer 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of StirlingUK
  2. 2.University of SheffieldUK
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of StirlingStirlingScotland