Characteristics, functions, and body investment of non–suicidal self–injury in individuals of Middle Eastern and European ethnicity
Master of Science
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The objective of the study was to investigate differences in non–suicidal self–injury (NSSI) characteristics, NSSI functions, and body investment for individuals of Middle Eastern and European descent recruited from Middle Eastern countries, Canada, and the United States. Individuals who did not have a history of NSSI served as control groups. A total sample of 649 participants completed an online questionnaire that consisted of a demographics background section which also contained questions about NSSI during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Body Investment Scale (BIS), Marlowe–Crowne Social Desirability Scale, the Deliberate Self–Harm Inventory, and the Inventory of Statements About Self–Harm (ISAS). The findings showed body investment to be negatively correlated with NSSI severity. Analyses based on groups (n = 80) matched on sex, gender, age, education, and socioeconomic status were carried out. Among self–injurers, those of Middle Eastern descent endorsed higher levels of body care and comfort with physical touch than those of European descent. Examination of effect size showed that self–injurers endorsed body investment more strongly than non–self–injurers, and that this was more prominent among those of Middle Eastern descent. Effect size also showed that self– injurers of European descent endorsed the NSSI functions more strongly than self–injurers of Middle Eastern descent. Finally, fewer than half of self–injurers continue to hurt themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic, and for those who did, they hurt themselves more frequently and more severely. It was reported that they self–injured for the same reasons as before the pandemic, and they took more time to act on their desire to self-injure.