3 years ago

Parental Secondary Stress: The Often Hidden Consequences of Nonsuicidal Self-Injury in Youth

Elizabeth Lloyd-Richardson, Janis Whitlock, Thaddeus Bates, Feven Fisseha
Objective This study aims to deepen understanding of the effects on parents of having a self-injuring child by (a) analyzing differences in dimensions of caregiver strain between caregivers of youth with nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI+) and parents of youth with no known mental health history (MH−); (b) identifying factors that contribute to caregiver strain; and (c) examining parent outcome expectancies. Method Participants were 196 NSSI+ parents and 57 MH− parents. Quantitative measures of psychosocial variables, parent mental health and support variables, and child self-injury characteristics were assessed in relation to caregiver strain, and NSSI+ parental expectancies were assessed via mixed methods. Results Parents with a NSSI+ youth were more likely to exhibit all forms of objective and subjective strain than parents of youth with no mental health challenges. Despite this, many parents expressed beliefs that their child would experience personal growth as a result of their NSSI experience. Conclusion Findings reveal the important role of mindful parenting practices and informal social support.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/jclp.22488

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