Effects of Rumination and Optimism on the Relationship Between Psychological Distress and Non-Suicidal Self-Injury

Alicia Kate Tanner, Penelope Anne Hasking, Graham Martin

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9 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, increasing concern regarding non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) among adolescents has prompted investigation of factors that may prevent this behavior. This study examined the relationship between psychological distress and NSSI in a community sample of adolescents, and the moderating effect of both optimism and rumination on this association. Two thousand five hundred seventy-two participants (12–18 years) completed self-report questionnaires assessing psychological distress, cognitive, and emotional characteristics, and NSSI history. Ten percent of the sample reported a history of NSSI, and as hypothesized, optimism moderated the relationship between psychological distress and NSSI; the association was only evident when optimism was low. Rumination was not found to moderate the relationship between psychological distress and NSSI. These findings highlight the utility of considering optimism in NSSI prevention and early intervention programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)860-868
Number of pages9
JournalPrevention Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • NSSI
  • Optimism
  • Psychological distress
  • Rumination
  • Self-injury

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