Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is distinguishable from suicide attempts (SAs) on a number of psychological and motivational factors. However, in corrective services settings, NSSI and SA are not clearly distinguished in assessment impacting on intervention. The purpose of this paper is to examine if any attributes differentiate lifetime history of SA+NSSI, NSSI and SA presentations in inmates who had recently been assessed in custody by a risk intervention team.
A comprehensive clinical assessment and file review was conducted with 87 male inmates (including a no self-injury control group) in two large correctional centres in New South Wales, Australia, to determine if three self-injury groups differ from the control group and if the three self-injury groups differ from each other across a range of static, trait, environmental and clinical characteristics.
The SA+NSSI group was most different from the control group (27/59 variables), and from the SA group (10/59 variables), predominantly across trait and clinical correlates. The SA group was least different from the control group (2/59 variables: suicide ideation, childhood physical abuse).
It was found that the presence of SA+NSSI history is an indicator of increased psychopathology. A history of SA only appears not readily associated with psychopathology. The self-injury subgroups reflected different clinical profiles with implications for risk assessment and treatment planning.
Declarations – Ethics approval and consent to participate: ethics approval was obtained from the University of Western Sydney and the Corrective Service New South Wales (NSW) Ethics Committees.
Consent for publication: not applicable.
Availability of data and material: the data sets analysed during the current study are not publicly available due to the study being part of a PhD research. The data set is available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
Competing interests: the authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Funding: there were no funds allocated to the project.
Authors’ contributions: JB developed this study, gathered and analyzed the data and is the primary author of the manuscript. TM, SC and AS contributed to the development of the study. TM and SC provided advice on data analyses. All authors contributed to and approved the final manuscript.
The authors wish to acknowledge Elizabeth Dowswell, Research Assistant with the School of Social Sciences and Psychology, for formatting and submission assistance with the preparation of the manuscript.
Barton, J., Cumming, S.R., Samuels, A. and Meade, T. (2017), "Common and distinguishing historical, criminal and current environmental and psychological characteristics in male inmates with a history of suicidal and/or non-suicidal self-injury", Journal of Criminal Psychology, Vol. 7 No. 4, pp. 229-243. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCP-03-2017-0012Download as .RIS
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