Nonsuicidal Self-Injury in College Students: The Role of Perfectionism and Rumination


University of North Dakota, Psychology, 319 Harvard St., Stop 8380, Grand Forks, North Dakota 58202–8380; E-mail:


A paucity of research exists examining personality and cognitive characteristics that may contribute to nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI). The purpose of the current study was to clarify the contribution of perfectionism and rumination, along with depression and anxiety, to NSSI within a sample of 170 college students. Group comparisons revealed that participants with a history of NSSI endorsed significantly more rumination and depressive and anxious symptoms then non-NSSI controls. Results regarding perfectionism were mixed, with NSSI participants differing from controls on select aspects of perfectionism. Results suggest higher levels of depression and anxiety and a ruminative cognitive style may increase vulnerability for NSSI; however, further research is needed to clarify the contribution of perfectionism.