Nonsuicidal self‐injury across cultures and ethnic and racial minorities: A review

Maryam Gholamrezaei, Jack De Stefano, Nancy L. Heath
Published Online:
08 Dec 2015
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 52 Issue 4

Additional Options

The field of nonsuicidal self‐injury (NSSI) is dominated by research conducted with Caucasian‐majority samples in Western countries such as United States, Canada, Australia and European countries. This article critically reviewed the empirical research on NSSI in non‐Western countries and among ethnic/racial minority individuals who live in the West to give voice to and understand the patterns of NSSI among individuals who do not fall within the dominant Caucasian majority. The study found both similarities and differences between Western and non‐Western data in terms of characteristics and functions of NSSI. Differences in gender patterns in regards to prevalence of NSSI and methods used as well as presence of a more relational functionality of NSSI rather than emotion regulation functionality were two points of divergence in the findings of these studies. In addition, the findings seem to indicate that the role of ethnicity/race is mediated by important factors such as socioeconomic status (SES) and gender. Existing gaps in the literature and suggestions for further research are discussed.

© 2015 International Union of Psychological Science