Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Psychology

First Advisor

Benjamin L. Hankin, Ph.D.


Nonsuicidal self-injury, Peer stress, Romantic stress, Serotonin transporter gene, Developmental precursors


Although NSSI engagement is a growing public health concern, little research has documented the developmental precursors to NSSI in longitudinal studies using youth samples. This study aimed to expand upon previous research on groups of NSSI engagement in a population-based sample of youth using multi-wave data. Moreover, this study examined whether chronic peer and romantic stress, the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR), parenting behaviors, and negative attributional style predicted the NSSI group membership as well as the role of sex and grade. Participants were 549 youth in beginning in the 3rd, 6th, and 9th grades at the baseline assessment. NSSI was assessed across 7 waves of data. Chronic peer and romantic stress, 5-HTTLPR, parenting behaviors, and negative attributional style were assessed at baseline. Growth mixture models, conducted to test the latent trajectory of NSSI groups did not converge. Three NSSI groups were manually created according to classifications that were determined a priori. NSSI groups included: no NSSI (85.1%), episodic NSSI (8.5%), and repeated NSSI (6.4%). Chronic peer and romantic stress, sex, and grade differentiated the no NSSI vs. repeated NSSI groups and the episodic NSSI vs. repeated NSSI groups. Specifically, higher levels of stress, being female, and being in higher grades related to repeated NSSI. 5-HTTLPR differentiated the no NSSI vs. repeated NSSI groups, such that carrying the short allele of 5-HTTLPR related to repeated NSSI. Exploratory analyses revealed that the relationship between attributional style and NSSI group was moderated by grade. This study suggests chronic interpersonal peer and romantic stress is an important factor placing youth at greater risk for repeatedly engaging in NSSI.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Andrea Lee Barrocas Gottlieb


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

75 p.


Clinical Psychology