Seeking validation in unlikely places: the nature of online questions about non-suicidal self-injury. Academic Article uri icon


  • Recent research points to the salience of the Internet as a means to seek information about non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) but no research has explored what is asked about NSSI online. The current study examined the nature of NSSI questions asked on Yahoo! Answers. One hundred and eight questions were analyzed using a content analysis. The most frequently asked questions pertained to seeking validation for NSSI experiences (30.56%); however, the responses provided were sometimes quite invalidating. Other common questions included those related to general NSSI information (17.59%), scar concealment (11.11%), and NSSI-related media (11.11%). Efforts are needed to provide NSSI resources and support online but websites may need to be monitored to safeguard against unhelpful responses.

publication date

  • January 1, 2012