Category: Suicide and Self-Injury

Symposium

Symposium 106 - Self-Harm Behavior Does Not Discriminate: Nonsuicidal Self-Injury and Suicide Across Diverse Populations

Saturday, November 18
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: Indigo Ballroom E, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Self-Injury | Cultural Diversity/ Vulnerable Populations
Presentation Type: Symposium

While there has been a growth in the understanding of both risk and protective correlates of self-injury and suicide, there remains limited knowledge across diverse populations and cultural groups. Findings from the limited body of research show equivocal findings with some studies describing similarities in characteristics and correlates of self-injury/suicide across cultural groups (Whitlock et al., 2008); whereas others identify clear differences (Cooper et al., 2010; Goldston et al., 2008; Whitlock et al., 2011). Research has also identified that cultural features/characteristics and values can impact the escalation or reduction of risk for NSSI and suicide (Colucci & Lester, 2012; Chu et al., 2013).  Additionally, research has largely concentrated on identifying risk factors, resulting in limited knowledge of how protective factors for NSSI and suicide may operate within different cultural groups. The purpose of the current symposium is to present a series of studies addressing these gaps in the literature by providing current data regarding similarities and differences in risk and protective factors for NSSI and suicide across diverse groups.

In the first presentation, data from a large sample of undergraduates replicates findings that students identifying as sexual minorities have elevated rates of NSSI compared to heterosexuals, but that subjective happiness and life satisfaction are significant protective factors against NSSI. The second presentation will present data from a sample of international students that found the constructs of entrapment and cultural stress to be significantly associated with suicidal ideation, whereas cultural sanctions moderated the relationship between ideation and suicidal behavior. Military personnel are under-represented in the study of NSSI so the third presentation will share data documenting significant gender differences in the prevalence, age of onset, and duration of NSSI but not other characteristics. Being a female active duty soldier appears to be associated with increased risk for NSSI. Lastly, the final presentation will share data from a clinical sample of adolescents that demonstrates few NSSI characteristic differences between Latinx and non-hispanic participants, although trends were noted for BPD symptoms and response to treatment.

Overall, these studies highlight that NSSI is seen across diverse populations, yet individuals who are not part of the majority cultural groups evidence increased risk of the behavior. Specific cultural factors also appear to increase or decrease risk for self-harm behaviors.

Learning Objectives:

Amy Brausch

Associate Professor of Psychological Sciences
Western Kentucky University

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Jennifer Muehlenkamp

Associate Professor of Psychology
University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire

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Brianna J. Turner

Assistant Professor of Psychology
University of Victoria

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Amy Brausch

Associate Professor of Psychological Sciences
Western Kentucky University

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Send Email for Amy Brausch

Jennifer Muehlenkamp

Associate Professor of Psychology
University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire

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Alexis May

Post-Doctoral Associate
University of Utah

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Jason Washburn

Director of Clinical Training
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

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