The stigmatization of nonsuicidal self‐injury [2018]

Despite the high prevalence of nonsuicidal self‐injury (NSSI), no research has systematically studied the occurrence and effects of stigmatization by others towards NSSI scarring.

The current study measured implicit and explicit attitudes among undergraduates towards NSSI scarring using the implicit association test and questionnaires to compare implicit and explicit biases towards NSSI with biases towards tattoos, a culturally sanctioned form of self‐determined marking, as well as nonintentional disfigurement.

Our study demonstrated strong negative implicit and explicit biases towards NSSI when comparing NSSI to tattoos and nonintentional disfigurement.

Results extend previous research describing stigma towards mental illness and suggest a large negative bias towards NSSI. The importance of studying how stigma affects those who bear scarring from NSSI is discussed.

Taylor A. Burke Marilyn L. Piccirillo Samantha L. Moore‐Berg Lauren B. Alloy Richard G. Heimberg
Journal of Clinical Psychology, Volume 75, Issue 3, March 2019