Characteristics and associated factors of non-suicidal self-injury among Italian young people: A survey through a thematic website

a cura di G. Martorana

Lavoro pubblicato su  Journal of Behavioral Addictions 4(2), pp. 93–100 (2015) 


DOI: 10.1556/2006.4.2015.001

First published online May 27, 2015


Journal of Behavioral AddictionsBackground and aims: The aim of this study is to examine the characteristics of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) in a group of young Italians who self-injure. In examining the characteristics, specific attention was given to the feelings and personal experiences associated with episodes of NSSI. Methods: The research involved 362 young people (332 females and 30 males) who completed an online survey hosted on a website specifically geared to supporting young people who self-injure. This methodology enabled involving a diverse population of young people who self-injure, thus going beyond specific groups or clinical samples. 

Results: Results show that the majority of respondents start injuring themselves between the ages of 12 and 16 years (72.38%, n = 262). Cutting was the most common self-injuring method (81.77%, n = 297). The 79.83% (n = 289) of respondents had not sought professional help for their wounds, preferring to care for their wounds on their own. More than half of the respondents (56.91%, n = 206) claimed to have experienced anxiety-spectrum disorders and almost half of the respondents (41.71%, n = 151) claimed to have experienced some type of eating disorder. 

Discussion and Conclusions: Many similarities have been found between this study and the literature, thus strengthening the hypothesis that NSSI is becoming a universal issue with similar characteristics across countries. 

Keywords: non-suicidal self-injury, Internet, young people, Italy, survey

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