Current Psychology

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 325–333 | Cite as

The Mediating Role of Self-Criticism in the Relationship between Parental Expressed Emotion and NSSI

  • Brooke A. AmmermanEmail author
  • Seth Brown


Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) is found at high rates among adolescents and young adults and is associated with many negative consequences, warranting additional research. Two factors that may contribute to NSSI during this time period are one’s levels of self-criticism and perceptions of their parental relationships; however, these relationships have received limited attention. The purpose of this current study was to address this gap in the literature. Adolescents and young adults (n = 294) completed measures of perceived parental expressed emotion, self-criticism, and NSSI. Participants with a history of NSSI reported perceiving their parents as providing less emotional support, inducing more irritation, being more intrusive, and expressing more criticism compared to those without a history of NSSI. These individuals also endorsed greater self-criticism. Further, self-criticism mediated the relationship between perceived parental expressed emotion and NSSI occurrence, such that those with higher reported self-criticism and greater perceived parental expressed emotion were more likely to engage in NSSI.


Nonsuicidal self-injury Self-harm Self-criticism Expressed emotion 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in the current study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Institutional Review Board of the data collection university and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments and comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study 18 years or older. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participant’s legal guardians and informed assent was obtain from all individual participants included in the study 17 years or younger.


Brooke A. Ammerman is supported by the National Service Award F31107156 from the National Institute of Mental Health.

Conflict of Interest

The 1st author (Ammerman) declares that she has no conflict of interest. The 2nd author (Brown) declares that he has no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.University of Northern IowaCedar FallsUSA

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