The NSSI paradox: discussing and displaying NSSI in an online environment

Karen Rodham, Jeffrey Gavin, Stephen Lewis, Peter Bandalli, Jill St. Denis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (SciVal)


Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is commonly shared online. In the offline world, secrecy is a sign of “real” or authentic self-injury; therefore, openly sharing NSSI in the online context could be considered a paradoxical behavior. We explored how users of an online NSSI site negotiated this apparent paradox. Contrary to our expectations, contributing text and photographs to an online site did not appear to compromise authentic identity. We suggest this was because they were presented in the form of an anonymous public display, which meant that posters could maintain their (secret) identity as individuals who genuinely engage in NSSI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1110-1117
Number of pages8
JournalDeviant Behavior
Issue number10
Early online date21 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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