Daily patterns in nonsuicidal self-injury and coping among recently hospitalized youth at risk for suicide.Psychiatry Res. 2019 11; 281:112588.PR
Among adolescents at high suicide risk, using a daily diary design, this study examined: (1) the co-occurrence between nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) and suicidal ideation, (2) the link between NSSI and coping, and (3) endorsement of using NSSI to cope with suicidal ideation (anti-suicide function). Thirty-four adolescents hospitalized due to suicide risk (76% female; ages 13-17) responded to daily surveys for four weeks after discharge (n = 650 observations). NSSI was positively associated with suicidal ideation at the between- (i.e. relative to others) and within-person (relative to adolescents' own average) levels of analysis. When NSSI and suicidal thoughts co-occurred, adolescents used NSSI to cope with thoughts of suicide on nearly all occasions. While adolescents did not use less adaptive coping when they engaged in NSSI (i.e. within-person), youth who utilized more coping strategies in general (i.e. between-person) had lower probability of NSSI. The probability of NSSI also decreased when adolescents perceived coping to be helpful and for youth who generally tended to perceive coping as helpful. Findings offer fine-grained insights about the intersection of NSSI, suicidal thoughts, and coping among high-risk adolescents, adding to the body of research highlighting the benefit of broadening adolescents' coping strategies as well as assessing their perceived utility.