Get access

Nonsuicidal Self-Injury in a Community Sample of Adolescents: Subgroups, Stability, and Associations With Psychological Difficulties


  • This research was financed by the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research (FAS; Dnr 2005-0597). We are grateful to a number of research assistants for help with the data collection, and to reviewers of previous versions of the manuscript for valuable comments.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Jonas Bjärehed, Department of Psychology, Lund University, Box 213, 221 00, Lund, Sweden. E-mail:


Patterns of nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) and their association with other psychological difficulties were studied in a community sample of young Swedish adolescents, by a two-wave longitudinal design with a 1-year interval. Hierarchical cluster analysis at T1 identified eight NSSI subgroups in each gender, of which five were clearly replicated at T2. Among these were a subgroup with generalized high-frequency NSSI, which was associated with both internalizing and externalizing problems, and a subgroup of girls who engaged primarily in cutting and showed mainly internalizing problems. In general, NSSI clusters among girls were more stable over time and associated with more psychological problems. The results indicate that different patterns of NSSI have different developmental and clinical implications.