Psychodynamic profiles of non-suicidal self-injury in adolescence: From the intra-psychic to the interpersonal dimension

Anna Gargiulo, Pasquale Dolce, Giorgia Margherita

Accepted December 30, 2019

First published December 30, 2019


Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI), considered deliberate and self-inflicted destruction of one’s own body tissue without suicidal intent, is particularly widespread among adolescents. The literature has attempted to classify NSSI, focusing primarily on syndromal features. Many studies have addressed the functions of NSSI but very few have investigated using these functions as criteria to assess nonsuicidal self-injury behaviours. This study aimed to identify profiles for nonsuicidal self-injury behaviours, matching the manifest syndromal aspects (e.g., frequency, variety of the
methods) with the latent functional ones like psychic functions, especially emotion regulation, and body investment. A sample of 108 adolescents with a history of nonsuicidal self-injury (M = 14.6, SD = .9; 34 males and 74 females)
participated in the study. Cluster analysis of syndromal aspects have shown two types of NSSI, Repetitive and Episodic, which were matched to latent features. NSSI functions distribution led to the emergence of two main profiles: Serious
nonsuicidal self-injury and Moderate nonsuicidal self-injury. Some reflections on the use of functions as diagnostic criteria for NSSI are discussed.
Keywords: Nonsuicidal self-injury, Profiles, Adolescence, Psychic function

Psychodynamic profiles of non-suicidal self-injury in adolescence: From the intra-psychic to the interpersonal dimension


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Gargiulo Anna . Dolce Pasquale . Margherita Giorgia . Psychodynamic profiles of non-suicidal self-injury in adolescence: From the intra-psychic to the interpersonal dimension. BPA Applied Psychology Bulletin. 2019;286(1):2-16. doi:10.26387/bpa.286.1.

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Author Surname Author Initial. Title. Publication Title. Year Published;Volume number(Issue number):Pages Used. doi:DOI Number.

Gargiulo Anna . Dolce Pasquale . Margherita Giorgia . Psychodynamic profiles of non-suicidal self-injury in adolescence: From the intra-psychic to the interpersonal dimension. BPA Applied Psychology Bulletin. 2019;286(1):2-16. doi:10.26387/bpa.286.1.