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Non-suicidal self-injury among female inmates in Oregon prisons

22 April 2013


Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is defined as deliberate self-harm without the intent to die. NSSI has received increased attention in the past several years and has even been suggested for inclusion into future editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Selby, Bender, Gordon, & Nock, 2012). Little research has been focused specifically on NSSI in a prison setting (DeHart, Smith, & Kaminski, 2009), which is said to pose unique challenges to the correctional system (DeHart et al., 2009; Fagan, Cox, Helfand, & Auderheide, 2010). In this study, adult female inmates responded to a questionnaire regarding frequency, method, and reasons for engaging in NSSI behaviors. Scores on various Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) scales of inmates who engaged in NSSI behaviors were compared to scores of those inmates who did not engage in NSSI. Results did not indicate significant differences between the two groups. Implications of the findings are discussed.


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