Wall/Object Punching: An Important but Under-Recognized Form of Nonsuicidal Self-Injury

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The present research investigated wall/object punching as a form of nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) among 1,143 veterans seeking treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Wall/object punching was remarkably common in this sample (43%), and its inclusion in the definition of NSSI increased estimated prevalence of recent NSSI by 14%. As expected, wall/object punching was strongly associated with other traditional forms of NSSI, post-NSSI relief, and suicide ideation. Male veterans and veterans with PTSD were significantly more likely to engage in wall/object punching than female veterans and veterans without PTSD. More research on this important but under-recognized form of NSSI is needed.

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