Subtypes of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury Based on Childhood Adversity

Michael G. Vaughn, Christopher P. Salas-Wright, Sarah Underwood, Tatiana Gochez-Kerr

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24 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to examine the latent clusters in non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) based on childhood adversity. Data were derived from Waves I (2001–2002) and II (2004–2005) of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults. Individuals engaging in NSSI (N = 672) comprised the analytic sample. Latent class statistical analysis was undertaken to elucidate the latent structure of NSSI based on child experiences of physical and sexual abuse, neglect, and family violence. Four-classes of respondents were identified vis-à-vis childhood adversities. A low abuse/neglect class (35.7 % of respondents, 91.1 % male) demonstrated less mental health and substance use comorbidity and antisocial behavior. A sexual abuse class (43.1 % of respondents, 98.6 % female) evinced somewhat lower levels of antisocial behavior than the other classes but similarly high levels of mental health disorder and a non-sexual abuse/neglect class (8.3 % of respondents, 91.5 % male) characterized by varied and intensive forms of antisocial and externalizing behaviors. Finally, a severe high abuse/neglect/family violence class (12.95 % of respondents, 100 % female) demonstrated high levels of clinical psychiatric and personality disorders. The current project is a nationally representative study of NSSI latent clusters and extends and validates the existence of NSSI subtypes revealed by prior research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-151
Number of pages15
JournalPsychiatric Quarterly
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Mar

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported in part by Grant Number R25 DA026401 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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