Prospective Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Predictors of Initiation and Cessation of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury among Chinese Adolescents

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Dec 17;17(24):9454. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17249454.


(1) Purpose: Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) possibly emerges as well as remits in adolescence. To explore the development and transition of NSSI, this study examined the association between a wide range of interpersonal and intrapersonal predictors of NSSI initiation and cessation. (2) Methods: Chinese adolescents (N = 913) completed self-reported surveys at baseline and at a six-month follow-up. The sample included 625 adolescents who reported no NSSI and 288 adolescents who reported engagement in NSSI at baseline. (3) Results: Among the adolescents without NSSI at baseline, 24.3% engaged in NSSI at follow-up (NSSI initiation group). Among the adolescents with NSSI at baseline, 33.3% reported no NSSI at follow-up (NSSI cessation group). Loneliness, beliefs about adversity, problem behavior, and prosocial behavior were the significant factors in predicting subsequent NSSI initiation. None of the potential predicting factors were associated with subsequent NSSI cessation. (4) Conclusions: These results indicate the importance of intrapersonal factors in Chinese culture, which could be used to identify at-risk adolescents and to design interventions.

Keywords: adolescents; cessation; initiation; interpersonal factors; intrapersonal factors; non-suicidal self-injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / ethnology
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • China / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Loneliness / psychology*
  • Male
  • Peer Group
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / epidemiology
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / ethnology*
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires