Rates of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of Exposure
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Research on the social influences associated with rates of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is scarce and limited to studies of contagion within inpatient and residential treatment settings. Using an archival dataset that included 1,965 college students, the current study examined whether exposure to acts of NSSI and/or suicidal behavior in others was associated with increased rates of NSSI. Results supported hypotheses in that participants who knew someone who had engaged in NSSI only, or knew someone who engaged in both NSSI and suicidal behavior were more likely to have engaged in NSSI compared to those not exposed. The findings provide preliminary, albeit indirect, evidence of the potential for social modeling to influence rates of NSSI within college students. Directions for future studies are offered.