Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) is elevated in adults with eating disorders (EDs), with a particularly increased incidence among individuals who engage in binge eating and/or purging (B/P) behaviors. Despite substantially elevated prevalence of NSSI in adolescence in general, NSSI in child and adolescent ED samples is understudied. There is some evidence for elevated prevalence of NSSI between B/P and restriction-only groups; however, this finding is not consistently reported and research in this area has excluded certain diagnostic groups (e.g., other specified feeding or eating disorder). Our aim was to identify the rates at which a transdiagnostic sample of adolescent patients with EDs (n = 155) report lifetime or past-month NSSI, and whether these rates differ between individuals who engaged in recent B/P behaviors vs. restriction only. Lifetime NSSI was present in 40.6% of the sample, and 23.2% of participants reported engaging in NSSI in the month prior to treatment. Individuals who reported recent B/P behaviors were more likely to report past-month (p = .005, OR = 5.57) and lifetime (p = .004, OR = 4.39) NSSI compared to individuals who did not report B/P behaviors. These results suggest an increase in risk for NSSI in child and adolescent patients in ED treatment who endorse B/P behaviors compared to patients who endorse restriction only. Research is needed to clarify the etiologic factors that may explain this association and the longitudinal changes in NSSI throughout the course of EDs.
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article