Non-Suicidal Self-Injury Among Male Service Members: Descriptive Information and a Preliminary Examination of External Correlates

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Previous literature has identified nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) as a common and noteworthy behavior, particularly given its association with psychopathology and suicide. However, the research on NSSI among males has resulted in mixed findings. Additionally, few studies have examined NSSI among service members and only one study to date has examined NSSI specifically among male service members. The present study examined descriptive statistics and clinical correlates of NSSI among male service members. Results indicated that the most common method of NSSI among this group was burning oneself with a cigarette, followed closely by cutting, and burning oneself with a lighter. NSSI engagement was associated with common correlates of NSSI such as increased emotion dysregulation, depression, impulsivity, and capability for suicide as well as decreased distress tolerance and a greatly likelihood to have experienced recent suicidal ideation. NSSI was also associated with grit, narcissism, and masculinity, some of which may be particularly important and valued in military culture. Overall, results suggest important similarities and differences among NSSI in service members relative to previously studied samples. Future research should continue to examine NSSI among male service members to ensure treatments are effectively targeting and addressing aspects of the behavior.

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Psychiatry Research



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