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Predictors of Receiving and Responding To a Non-Suicidal Self-Injury Disclosure From a Friend

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Title: Predictors of Receiving and Responding To a Non-Suicidal Self-Injury Disclosure From a Friend
Author: Mahdy, Jasmine C.
Department: Department of Psychology
Program: Psychology
Advisor: Lewis, Stephen P.
Abstract: Young adults who self-injure may prefer to disclose these experiences to peers versus professionals, however, past research has demonstrated that their responses are rated as less helpful compared to other recipients. To better understand this phenomenon, the current study sought to investigate NSSI disclosures from the point of view of the disclosure recipient. Given the relation between various interpersonal trait variables (e.g., receptiveness, responsiveness, agreeableness), relationship factors (friendship quality, duration), and intimate self-disclosures, aspects of particular individuals and relationships may also play a role in the context of peer-to-peer NSSI disclosures and how effective these disclosure responses may be. An online battery of questionnaires was administered to examine these research questions in a population of 230 university students (178 females, M age = 18.38). 107 participants reported receiving a NSSI disclosure from a friend. Having a history of NSSI, lower social support, and greater perceived relative power were found to significantly predict receiving a NSSI disclosure from a friend and receptiveness and social support were found to significantly predict the recipients’ degree of helpful responding to the NSSI disclosure. Findings illuminate the important role of friends and of the friendship itself in facilitating the help-seeking process and promoting NSSI cessation. Research directions and implications are discussed.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/7429
Date: 2013-08


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