"Your Cuts are Yours": the Negotiation of Identities on Online Self-Injury Discussion Boards

C. McVittie, Karen Goodall, A. McKinlay, S. McFarlane

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review


Background: Despite self-injury being relatively common, there is little agreement as to how it should be described or understood. Proposed explanations focus on self-injury as negative behaviour and pay little attention to the meanings for those involved. Here, we examine how self-injury is negotiated in online discussions. Methods: Threads from three online discussion
boards were selected for analysis. These data were analysed using discourse analysis, to examine how contributors interactionally negotiated the meanings of self-injury and the identities that resulted. Findings: Contributors commonly evaluated self-injury in terms that were positive or potentially positive rather than describing it as problematic. Where self-injury was described as problematic, it was attributed to failure on the part of others rather than of
the individuals themselves. Discussion: In these contexts, individuals who self-injure resist being accountable for harmful behaviours. The resulting identities pose challenges for interventions designed to reduce instances of self-injury.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-276
Number of pages1
JournalPsychology & Health
Issue numberSupp. 1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event“Resiliance and Health” : 26th Conference of the European Health Psychology Society - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 21 Aug 201225 Aug 2012


Dive into the research topics of '"Your Cuts are Yours": the Negotiation of Identities on Online Self-Injury Discussion Boards'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this