Murray State Theses and Dissertations

Abstract

In recent years, research with a concentration on self-harm has begun to surface. Most of this research focuses on methods and functions of self-harm, mental health disorders associated with self-harm, and attitudes towards self-harm from the perspective of others. However, self-harm research that focuses on examining attitudes towards people who self-harm is lacking. More specifically, research is limited on those who self-harm and their attitudes toward someone else who self-harms. The current study sought to fill this gap by examining how the level of familiarity with self-harm affects a person’s attitudes towards self-harm and if there are differences between the attitudes of people who have self-injured and people who have not. Participants consisted of 110 people who have self-injured and 45 people who have not self-injured (Mage = 28.39, SD= 11.94; 83% Caucasian). Results revealed that the more familiarity an individual has with self-harm, the less likely they are to endorse certain negative attitudes towards another person who engages in the behavior. Results also revealed a difference in attitudes between those who self-harm and those who do not, such that those who self-harm report more positive and less negative attitudes towards someone who self-injures. These results suggest that familiarity with self-harm may impact attitudes towards a person who self-injurers and a difference in attitudes between people who have self-injured and people who have not exists. Implications and future directions are included for discussion.

Year manuscript completed

2020

Year degree awarded

2020

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Thesis Advisor

Laura Liljequist

Committee Chair

Laura Liljequist

Committee Member

Michael Bordieri

Committee Member

Amanda Joyce

Committee Member

Samir Patel

Document Type

Thesis

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