Adolescent Nonsuicidal Self-Injury, Parental Support, and Family Resilience

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Adolescent Nonsuicidal Self-Injury, Parental Support, and Family Resilience

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This mixed-methods study explored parental experiences of support and family strengths when a child had engaged in nonsuicidal self-injury. Twenty parents participated in a quantitative web survey, and 5 went on to complete follow-up qualitative interviews. Parents reported adequate levels of global social support as measured by the Social Provision Scale and the Social Support Questionnaire. Specifically, they reported high levels of perceived ability to guide and nurture in their significant relationships. However, affective and instrumental support from adult peers was more difficult for these parents to perceive and access. Qualitative interviews added depth and richness to these findings; parents reported challenges in accessing support due to difficulties in finding other parents who had also had a child with similar problems. At the same time, they described many strengths in their family systems, including role flexibility, healthy boundaries, connectedness, and positive meaning-making. Implications for future research and clinical work are discussed in conclusion.


University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. May 2016. Major: Family Social Science. Advisor: Tai Mendenhall. 1 computer file (PDF); v, 40 pages.

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Bohlinger, Anna. (2016). Adolescent Nonsuicidal Self-Injury, Parental Support, and Family Resilience. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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