Date of Award

Spring 2-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Eric Dahlen, Ph.D.

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Melanie Leuty, Ph.D.

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Bonnie Nicholson, Ph.D.

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Richard Mohn, Ph.D.


Research on non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) has produced mixed findings, resulting in a lack of clarity regarding these behaviors (Klonsky & Meuhlenkamp, 2007). To address this, Hooley and Franklin (2018) developed the Benefits and Barriers Model (BBM) to provide a comprehensive understanding of NSSI, in which they identified the barriers that commonly prevent people from engaging in these behaviors (e.g., self-esteem, shame, and peer-bonding motivations/social norms). They also identified adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) as a distal predictor of NSSI, which aids people in overcoming the barriers to engaging in these behaviors. Recent NSSI literature has shown that college women in the emerging adult age range (i.e., 18-29) have elevated rates of NSSI (Cipriano et al., 2017), indicating a need for additional research with this population. Given that research has produced mixed findings regarding the relationship between narcissistic personality traits, both vulnerable and grandiose forms, and NSSI (Dawood et al., 2018), additional research to clarify this relationship is likely to be beneficial. The current study administered measures of ACEs, shame, peer-bonding motivation for NSSI, self-esteem, NSSI, and narcissistic traits to a sample of 402 college women between the ages of 18 and 29. ACEs predicted NSSI, and a parallel mediation analysis showed that this relationship was partially mediated by shame, self-esteem, and peer-bonding motivation. Invariance testing showed that the indirect relationship between ACEs and NSSI was moderated by narcissistic subtypes. These findings provided partial support for the BBM among college women, additional evidence of the importance of ACEs in NSSI, and supported the role of narcissism in these complex relationships.