Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



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Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Dr. Debra Langan

Advisor Role


Second Advisor

Dr. Carrie Sanders


Non- suicidal self-injury, commonly referred to as NSSI, is defined as the damage of one’s body tissue through the practices of, but not limited to, cutting, burning, branding, bone-breaking, biting, hair pulling and head banging (Adler & Adler, 2011), without suicidal intent (Lewis & Mehrabkhani, 2016). Self-harm literature has primarily focused on persistence processes and NSSI-related online interaction in the maintenance of pro self-harm ideology and practice. Alternatively, this research will provide insight into desistance processes of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) and related online interactions by conducting a virtual ethnography (Hine, 2000) of open, online spaces, consistent with the symbolic interactionist perspective (Blumer, 1969) that guided this project. Specifically, the research project seeks to understand how individuals describe their experiences with maintaining and stopping self-harm in online self-harm support forums and how they use these forums during the exit phases of their self-harm. Most notably, this research project offers insight into the significance of this online activity for our traditional notions of desistance in offline contexts.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season


Included in

Criminology Commons