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Self-injury and Online Activity

Individuals who self-injure (e.g., Non-suicidal self-injury), experience suicide ideations, or engage in suicide behaviors online do so for myriad reasons. Sometimes individuals go online to learn about what they are experiencing (e.g., why am I having thoughts of hurting myself?), seek support (e.g., social networks dedicated to those with similar experiences), or connect with like-minded others. Understanding the needs of those who access, post, or engage with others related to self-injury is imperative.

Much work is being conducted out of Dr. Stephen Lewis’s lab at the University of Guelph related to this work. We have published various projects related to the above, for example:

Self-injury is My Drug: The Functions of Describing Nonsuicidal Self-injury as an Addiction (In press). Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.

Pritchard, T. R., Lewis, S. P., Marcincinova, I. (2020). Needs of youth posting about non-suicidal self-Injury: A time-trend analysis. Journal of Adolescent Health, 1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2020.06.038

Lewis, S. P., Kenny, T. E., & Pritchard, T. R. (2019). Toward an understanding of online self-injury activity: Review and Recommendations for Researchers and Clinicians. In. J. Washburn (Ed). Nonsuicidal Self-injury: Advances in Research and Practice. New York, NY: Routledge

Suicide Contagion in a Popular Social Network: A Comprehensive Predictive Analysis (2019).Poster presentation.

Tyler Pritchard
Lab Director, Professor, Researcher, and Clinician

My research interests include suicide theory, research methods and statistics, and online activity’s impact on mental health and illness.