Is Nonsuicidal Self-Injury Associated With Parenting and Family Factors?

Imke Baetens*, Laurence Claes, Graham Martin, Patrick Onghena, Hans Grietens, Karla Van Leeuwen, Ciska Pieters, Jan R. Wiersema, James W. Griffith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The present study investigates the association of parenting and family factors with nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) in preadolescents. A sample of 1,439 preadolescents and their parents were assessed by means of (a) adolescent-reported parenting behaviors (support and behavioral/psychological control), (b) parent-reported parenting behaviors (support and behavioral/psychological control) and parenting stress, and (c) parent-reported family structure, socioeconomic status (SES) of the family, family functioning, and family stressful life-events. The prevalence of NSSI was 4.82%. Preadolescents engaging in NSSI perceived more psychological and behavioral control from their parents. Logistic regression using parent-reported parenting behaviors as covariates showed a significant interaction between parent-reported support and behavioral control in relation to NSSI behaviors. No significant differences in parent-reported parenting stress and family structure emerged. Significant differences in parent-reported SES of families with and without self-injurious preadolescents were found. Finally, no significant associations appeared between the presence of NSSI and parent-reported family functioning and stressful life-events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-405
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Early Adolescence
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • family functioning
  • life-events
  • nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI)
  • parenting
  • prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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