Features of Nonsuicidal Self-Injury and Relationships with Coping Methods among College Students

  • Jinting WU Second Affiliated Hospital of Wannan Medical College, Wuhu, 241002, China
  • Hairong LIU Department of Public Administration, Wannan Medical College, Wuhu, 241001, China
Keywords: Nonsuicidal self-injury, Influential factors, Correlation analysis


Background: This study investigated the nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) presentation and the features of coping methods among college students, in addition to analyzing the factors that influence self-injury behavior. Methods: From April to November 2016, 2,520 undergraduate students who were studying in some colleges in Anhui Province in China were surveyed using the Self-Injury Behavioral Survey Questionnaire and the Coping Styles Questionnaire (CSQ). Results: The detection rate of self-injury behavior among college students was 13.73%. Frequent Internet use and smoking were associated with self-injury behavior (P < 0.05). There were statistically significant differences between the self-injury group and the non-self-injury group in terms of the coping methods of problem-solving, self-reproach, help-seeking, and illusions (P < 0.01). According to the logistic regression analysis of the students, their place of origin, mother’s education, family finances, family type, family relationships, gender, frequent Internet use, and smoking were associated with self-injury behavior (P< 0.01). Self-reproach and withdrawal were risk factors for self-injury behavior while problem-solving and rationalization were protective factors for self-injury behavior. Conclusion: Students who frequently use the Internet and smoke are more prone to self-injury. College students’ choices of problem-solving and rational coping styles in the face of pressure are conducive to preventing nonsuicidal self-injury.    


1. Muehenkamp JJ, Claes L, Havertape L, Plener PL (2012). International prevalence of adolescent non-suicidal self-injury and deliberate self-harm. Child Adolesc Psychiatry Ment Health, 6(1): 10.
2. Young R, Sweeting H, West P (2006). Preva-lence of deliberate self-harm and at-tempted suicide within contemporary Goth youth subculture: longitudinal co-hort study. BMJ, 332:1058.
3. Pluhar, Emily, Lois, et al (2018). Nonsuicidal self-injury in adolescents: current devel-opments to help inform assessment and treatment. Curr Opin Pediatr, 30(4): 483-489.
4. Taliaferro LA, Muehlenkamp JJ (2015). Risk Factors Associated With Self-injurious Behavior among a National Sample of Undergraduate College Stu-dents. J Am Coll Health, 63(1): 40-48.
5. Hamza C A, Willoughby T, Good M (2013). A preliminary examination of the speci-ficity of the functions of nonsuicidal self-injury among a sample of university stu-dents. Psychiatry Res, 205(1-2): 172-175.
6. Tresno F, Ito Y, Mearns J (2013). Risk fac-tors for nonsuicidal self-injury in Japa-nese college students: The moderating role of mood regulation expectancies. Int J Psychol, 48(6): 1009-1017.
7. American Psychiatric Association (2013). Di-agnostic and statistical manual of mental disor-ders. 5th Edition. Arlington, VA: APA, American, pp:803-806.
8. Nock MK, Prinstein M J (2004). A function-al approach to the assessment of self-mutilative behavior. J Consult Clin Psychol, 72(5): 885-890.
9. Wang Xiangdong, Ma Xilin (1999), Ma Hong. Psychological Hygiene Assessment Scale Handbook. (Extended Edition). Chinese Mental Health Journal Press, China, pp: 96-99.
10. Huang RZ, Peng XY, Zhan XP, et al (2011). Self-injure behavior among college stu-dents. Chinese Mental Health Journal, 25(5): 389-390.
11. Li T, Zheng XB (2004). Intervention on self-harm of adolescents. Chinese Mental Health Journal, 18(10): 732.
12. Wang SJ, Zhang XM, Li L, et al (2011). Pro-gress on relative factors of adolescents self-harm, China J Health Psychol, 19 (6): 759-761.
13. Wang PX, Lu YY, Li P(2007). Study on the epidemiological investigation of deliberate self-harm among college students. Henan Med Res,16 (3): 256-257.
14. Duan Y, Wang JF, Wang J, et al (2017). Sta-tus of self-harm behaviors and the fac-tors affecting the practice in college stu-dents in Wuhu city. Acta Academiae Medici-nae Wannan, 36 (2): 178-181.
15. Martin J, Bureau J F, Yurkowski K, et al (2016). Family-based risk factors for non-suicidal self-injury: Considering influences of maltreatment, adverse family-life expe-riences, and parent-child relational risk. J Adolesc, 49: 170-180.
16. Lin Ming-jing, LI Ping, LU Qing-hua (2018). Research status of non-suicidal self-injury in adolescents.J Psychiatr, 31(1): 67-70.
17. Baetens I, Claes L, Martin G, et al (2014). Is Nonsuicidal Self-Injury Associated With Parenting and Family Factors? J Early Ad-olesc, 34(3): 387-405.
18. Zhou Dongdong, Kuang Li, Ai Ming (2016). Non-suicidaI self-injury and its re-lated factor among college students in Chongqing. Journal of Chongqing Medical University, 41(1): 94-97.
19. Mcmahon EM, Keeley H, Cannon M, et al (2014). The iceberg of suicide and self-harm in Irish adolescents: a population-based study. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epi-demiol, 49(12): 1929-1935.
20. Nock M K, Prinstein M J, Sterba S K (2009). Revealing the form and function of self-injurious thoughts and behaviors: A real-time ecological assessment study among adolescents and young adults. J Abnorm Psychol, 118(4): 816-827.
How to Cite
WU J, LIU H. Features of Nonsuicidal Self-Injury and Relationships with Coping Methods among College Students. Iran J Public Health. 48(2):270-277.
Original Article(s)