Self-Esteem and Non-Suicidal Self-Injury in Adulthood : A Systematic Review

Forrester, Rebecca L. and Slater, Hayley and Jomar, Khowla and Mitzman, Susan and James Taylor, Peter (2017) Self-Esteem and Non-Suicidal Self-Injury in Adulthood : A Systematic Review. Journal of Affective Disorders, 221. pp. 172-183. ISSN 0165-0327

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Background Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is a self-destructive act that represents a considerable burden on the individual and society. Low self-esteem may be a psychological variable that is related to NSSI. However, little is known about the nature of this relationship in adulthood. This systematic review therefore aimed to provide a synthesis of the available literature on the relationship between self-esteem and NSSI. Methods Articles were independently identified and risk of bias assessed by two reviewers searching PsycINFO, CINAHL, Medline and Web of Science databases. Inclusion criteria were: (1) a mean sample age of eighteen years or over (2) full manuscripts available in English (3) assessment of NSSI (4) assessment(s) of self-esteem. A narrative synthesis of results was undertaken. A random-effects meta-analysis of differences in self-esteem between NSSI and non-NSSI groups was also undertaken. Results Seventeen studies were identified and indicated a significant negative relationship between self-esteem and NSSI. The meta-analysis indicated lower self-esteem in those with experiences of NSSI versus those without, d = 0.59 – 1.17. Results suggested that although low self-esteem and NSSI are related in both clinical and non-clinical populations, there are a number of factors which also influence this relationship. Limitations The absence of longitudinal research is a major limitation of this literature. Conclusions It will be important for clinicians to consider the impact of self-esteem in those seeking support for NSSI. Further research should undertake longitudinal research to better understand the self-esteem and NSSI relationship.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Affective Disorders
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Affective Disorders. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Affective Disorders, 221, 2017 DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2017.06.027
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? self-esteemnon-suicidal self-injurysystematic reviewadultsself-criticismclinical psychologypsychiatry and mental health ??
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Deposited On:
07 Jul 2017 08:08
Last Modified:
28 Nov 2023 11:26