Putative risk factors for non-suicidal self-injury in eating disorders

Ana Isabel Vieira, Bárbara C. Machado, Paulo P. P. Machado, Isabel Brandão, António Roma-Torres, Sónia Gonçalves*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Evidence suggests a common association between eating disorders (EDs) and non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI). The present study aimed to investigate the potential risk factors for NSSI among ED patients. We assessed 245 ED patients with the Oxford Risk Factor Interview for ED. The results showed that 33% of ED patients reported NSSI in their lifetime. NSSI appeared to occur more frequently among binge eating/purging type ED patients than among patients with other ED and to be related to a more severe eating pathology. A younger age at the onset of eating problems, more negative self-evaluation, suicide attempts, substance abuse, parents' low weight, family tension at mealtime, parental alcohol problems, childhood abuse, peer aggression, and negative antecedent life events were more common among patients with co-occurring EDs and NSSI than among patients without NSSI. The results may inform the risk assessment and treatment of NSSI in EDs in the early detection period.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544-550
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Eating Disorders Review
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


  • Eating disorders
  • Non-suicidal self-injury
  • Risk factors


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