Publication Date

Summer 2018

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Amy Brausch (Director), Elizabeth Lemerise, and Matthew Woodward

Degree Program

Department of Psychological Sciences

Degree Type

Master of Science


Despite becoming a greater public health concern, the suicide rate among adolescents has not decreased significantly in recent years (Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2015). In fact, suicide is the second leading cause of death for individuals between 12-18 years (CDC, 2015). Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI), the deliberate destruction of one’s own body tissue without suicidal intent and for reasons not socially sanctioned (Nock, 2009), has been identified as a robust predictor of suicide, above and beyond other risk factors such as depression and hopelessness (Asarnow et al., 2011; Guan, Fox, & Prinstein, 2012). Therefore, understanding risk factors for NSSI is an important area of research not only for prevention of NSSI, but also suicide. Recently, an association between poor sleep and suicide ideation in adolescents has been highlighted (Franic, Kralj, Marcinko, Knez, & Kardum, 2014; Park, Yoo, & Kim, 2013). However, very little attention, both globally and within the United States, has been given to understanding the impact sleep may have on NSSI. Given the strong role that emotion regulation has been identified as having in both poor sleep and NSSI separately, it is important to look at the interaction of these two factors in the prediction of NSSI. Data were collected from 154 adolescents in high school. Results indicated that poor sleep was a significant predictor of both NSSI engagement and self-reported suicide ideation. Additionally, emotion regulation successfully moderated the relationship between poor sleep quality and suicide ideation severity. Results support that sleep is an important risk factor for NSSI engagement and suicide ideation and that emotion regulation may play an important role in strengthening the relationship for between sleep and suicide ideation only. These findings suggest that clinicians should be aware of and work with their clients on both emotion regulation and sleep quality to reduce risk of NSSI engagement and suicide ideation.


Child Psychology | Clinical Psychology | Psychology