Non-suicidal self-injury within the school context: Multilevel analysis of teachers’ support and peer climate

N. Madjar, S. Ben Shabat, R. Elia, N. Fellner, M. Rehavi, S. E. Rubin, N. Segal, G. Shoval

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background Recent studies regarding non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) among adolescents have focused primarily on individual characteristics (e.g., depressive symptoms) and background factors (e.g., parental relationship), whereas less emphasis has been given to the role of school-related factors in NSSI. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to explore the relationships between teachers’ support, peer climate, and NSSI within the school context. Methods The sample consisted of 594 high school students nested within 27 regular classes (54.4% boys; mean age 14.96, SD = 1.33 years). The students were evaluated for NSSI behaviors, perception of teacher support, peer climate, relationships with mothers, and depressive symptoms using validated scales. Results The primary analysis used hierarchical linear modeling (HLM), controlling for gender and age. The main findings indicated that teacher support was positively associated with NSSI at the classroom-level (OR = 6.15, 95% CI = 2.05–18.5) but negatively associated at the student-level (OR = 0.66, 95% CI = 0.49–0.89). There was a trend toward an association between positive peer climate and NSSI at the classroom-level (OR = 0.43, 95% CI = 0.18–1.05), while negative peer climate was associated with NSSI at the student-level (OR = 1.37, 95% CI = 1.00–1.87). Conclusions School-related factors are associated with NSSI behaviors among students. Teachers and educators should focus on both individual-level and classroom-level perceptions of school context. Students who feel supported by their teachers and who are exposed to a positive peer climate are less likely to engage in NSSI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-101
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Psychiatry
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent psychiatry
  • NSSI
  • School
  • Suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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