The Relationship Between Nonsuicidal Self-Injury and Family Functioning: Adolescent and Parent Perspectives

Lauren Kelada, Penelope Hasking, Glenn Melvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


We explored parent and adolescent reports of family functioning, how this differed if the parent was aware that their child self-injured, and how parental awareness of self-injury was related to self-injury frequency, self-injury severity, and help seeking. Participants were 117 parent-adolescent dyads, in 23 of which the adolescent self-injured. Adolescents who self-injured reported poorer family functioning than their parents, but parents who did not know about their child's self-injury reported similar functioning to parents whose children did not self-injure. Parents were more likely to know that their child self-injured when the behavior was severe and frequent. Help-seeking was more likely when parents knew about self-injury. Family-based interventions which emphasize perspective-taking could be used to effectively treat self-injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)536 - 549
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Marital and Family Therapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016

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