An investigation of the motivations driving the online representation of self-injury: a thematic analysis.
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The objetive of the study was to identify a) the motivations for communicating about non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) in a publicly accessible online forum, b) The significance (if any) of the "publicness" of the behavior. Using a Thematic Analysis of 423 text-based posts from an online NSSI forum, 5 motivations for using the site were identified: confessional, marking a turning point, acting as a deterrent, dispelling myths and offering or seeking support. Motivations for using the site differ markedly from motivations for engaging in NSSI and tend to be more outwardly focused. The publicness of the site therefore seems to be significant in terms of bearing witness, providing the opportunity to confront negative stereotypes, and the ability to seek and offer support to like-minded individuals.