Does Nonsuicidal Self-Injury Predict Later Suicidal Attempts? A Review of Studies

Stephanie K. Griep, Dean F. MacKinnon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Co-occurrence of nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) and suicide attempts (SA) might occur because they share common risk factors, or alternatively because one leads to the other. Using search terms salient to NSSI and SA, we screened 555 studies to identify 17 that presented temporal data about NSSI and SA. Much of the evidence indicates that NSSI predates SA, especially among females and individuals with depressive symptoms, or diagnosed with borderline personality disorder or mood disorders. However, in some studies, associated risk factors likely accounted for the effect. Greater NSSI frequency to a threshold increases risk for later SA. Findings suggest that the behaviors have common predisposing factors, but that there is also a potent gateway effect whereby NSSI precedes SA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-446
Number of pages19
JournalArchives of Suicide Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2022


  • Longitudinal studies
  • attempted
  • review
  • risk
  • self-injurious behavior
  • suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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