An exploration of adolescent nonsuicidal self-injury and religious coping

Nicholas J. Westers, Mark Rehfuss, Lynn Olson, Constance M. Wiemann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many adolescents who engage in nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) self-identify as religious, but the role of religion in their NSSI is not known. This exploratory study examined the relationship between religious coping and religiousness among adolescents who self-injure and the function of their NSSI. Thirty adolescents aged 12-19 years who had engaged in NSSI participated in an interview and completed questionnaires. Multiple regressions were used to examine the relationship between religious coping and NSSI, and Pearson correlations were used to assess the relationship between religiousness and function of NSSI. Greater use of positive religious coping was associated with lower likelihood of engaging in NSSI to rid oneself of unwanted emotions, whereas greater use of negative religious coping was associated with greater likelihood of engaging in NSSI for this reason as well as to avoid punishment or unwanted responsibility. Higher religiousness was associated with greater use of NSSI to communicate with or gain attention from others, whereas lower religiousness was associated with greater use of NSSI to relieve unwanted emotions. Having a greater understanding of how religious constructs are related to the various functions served by NSSI may inform treatment of this population, particularly among religious youth who self-injure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-349
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2014

Keywords

  • adolescents
  • nonsuicidal self-injury
  • religious coping
  • religiousness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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