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Seeking help for non-suicidal self-injury: A social network analysis approach

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Individuals who self-injure have consistently reported less perceived social support; yet, little is actually known about the support they seek out from others specifically for non-suicidal self-injury. The goal of this study was to explore characteristics of support networks of those who self-injure. Twenty-three percent reported not seeking support for self-injury, while the remaining reported smaller social networks than typical. Most participants sought help infrequently, and when they did, found supporters to be only moderately helpful. Network characteristics were found to relate to self-injury behavior and patterns emerged regarding supporters in the networks. Implications for advocacy and education are provided.
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Keywords: help seeking; non-suicidal self-injury; outreach; self-harm; social network analysis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Counseling and Educational Development, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC, USA 2: Department of Applied Psychology and Counselor Education, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO, USA 3: Department of Counselor Education, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, USA

Publication date: October 2, 2015

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