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Psychiatry Journal
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 159208, 12 pages
Research Article

Proposed Diagnostic Criteria for the DSM-5 of Nonsuicidal Self-Injury in Female Adolescents: Diagnostic and Clinical Correlates

1Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, University of Koblenz-Landau, Ostbahnstrasse 12, 76829 Landau, Germany
2Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Institute of Psychology, University of Basel, 4055 Basel, Switzerland
3Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Basel, 4056 Basel, Switzerland

Received 7 February 2013; Accepted 8 July 2013

Academic Editor: Denise M. Styer

Copyright © 2013 Tina In-Albon et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) is included as conditions for further study in the DSM-5. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate the proposed diagnostic criteria and the diagnostic and clinical correlates for the validity of a diagnostic entity. The authors investigated the characteristics of NSSI disorder and the proposed diagnostic criteria. A sample of 73 female inpatient adolescents and 37 nonclinical adolescents (aged 13 to 19 years) was recruited. Patients were classified into 4 groups (adolescents with NSSI disorder, adolescents with NSSI without impairment/distress, clinical controls without NSSI, and nonclinical controls). Adolescents were compared on self-reported psychopathology and diagnostic cooccurrences. Results indicate that adolescents with NSSI disorder have a higher level of impairment than adolescents with other mental disorders without NSSI. Most common comorbid diagnoses were major depression, social phobia, and PTSD. There was some overlap of adolescents with NSSI disorder and suicidal behaviour and borderline personality disorder, but there were also important differences. Results further suggest that the proposed DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for NSSI are useful and necessary. In conclusion, NSSI is a highly impairing disorder characterized by high comorbidity with various disorders, providing further evidence that NSSI should be a distinct diagnostic entity.