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  • 1 La Spezia (SP), Italy
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Background and aims

The aim of this study is to examine the characteristics of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) in a group of young Italians who self-injure. In examining the characteristics, specific attention was given to the feelings and personal experiences associated with episodes of NSSI.

Methods

The research involved 362 young people (332 females and 30 males) who completed an online survey hosted on a website specifically geared to supporting young people who self-injure. This methodology enabled involving a diverse population of young people who self-injure, thus going beyond specific groups or clinical samples.

Results

Results show that the majority of respondents start injuring themselves between the ages of 12 and 16 years (72.38%, n = 262). Cutting was the most common self-injuring method (81.77%, n = 297). The 79.83% (n = 289) of respondents had not sought professional help for their wounds, preferring to care for their wounds on their own. More than half of the respondents (56.91%, n = 206) claimed to have experienced anxiety-spectrum disorders and almost half of the respondents (41.71%, n = 151) claimed to have experienced some type of eating disorder.

Discussion and Conclusions

Many similarities have been found between this study and the literature, thus strengthening the hypothesis that NSSI is becoming a universal issue with similar characteristics across countries.

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