Variation in nonsuicidal self-injury: identification and features of latent classes in a college population of emerging adults

J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2008 Oct;37(4):725-35. doi: 10.1080/15374410802359734.


Prior studies of nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) suggest the existence of multiple NSSI typologies. Using data from 2,101 university students, this study employed latent class analysis to investigate NSSI typologies. Results show a good fitting 3-class solution with distinct quantitative and qualitative differences. Class 1 was composed largely of women using 1 form to engage in superficial tissue damage with moderate (< 11) lifetime incidents. Class 2 was composed predominately of men using 1 to 3 forms to engage in self-battery and light tissue damage, with low (2-10) lifetime incidents. Class 3 was composed largely of women using more than 3 self-injury forms and engaging in behaviors with the potential for a high degree of tissue damage with moderate to high numbers of lifetime incidents. All 3 classes were at elevated risk for adverse conditions when compared to no-NSSI respondents. We conclude that NSSI typologies exist and may warrant differential clinical assessment and treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychometrics / statistics & numerical data
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Factors
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / classification
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / diagnosis*
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / epidemiology
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / psychology
  • Sex Factors
  • Students / psychology*
  • Students / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult