Personality Patterns Among Adolescents with Histories of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury With or Without Attempted Suicide

Michelle Loring, Pace University


A growing body of research has attempted to better understand the complex relationship between non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) and suicidal behavior among adolescents. However, there is a lack of research utilizing performance based psychological measures to examine the unique traits and patterns of adolescents who engage in any or both of these behaviors. The present study aimed to compare the personality patterns and correlates of adolescent inpatients with histories of NSSI and/or suicide attempts (SA). The sample consisted of 185 adolescents, ages 13-18, who were referred for psychological evaluation in an inpatient hospital setting. The Rorschach, a self-report measure, and chart reviews were used to compare the groups. Results revealed a statistically significant relationship between NSSI and suicide attempts; specifically, participants with a history of NSSI have nearly four times the likelihood of attempting suicide. Findings from the performance-based measure indicate that teens with a history of NSSI experience significantly more anxiety, higher levels of emotional lability, and aggression in comparison to those with histories of suicide attempts. Findings suggests that the NSSI group exhibited the following grouping of traits which differentiate the NSSI group from the SA group: anxiety, affective distress, unmodulated affect, and limited capacity to experience and enjoy positive feelings. Suicidality was the main variable that differentiated adolescents with suicide attempts only in comparison to the NSSI only group. These findings have important implications for school-clinical child psychologists who are treating adolescents with different variations of suicidal and non-suicidal behaviors. Key Words: NSSI, suicide, adolescent.

Subject Area

Behavioral psychology

Recommended Citation

Loring, Michelle, "Personality Patterns Among Adolescents with Histories of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury With or Without Attempted Suicide" (2017). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI10673953.



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