Non-suicidal Self-Injury Among Adolescents From Diverse Ethnocultural Groups in Israel: The Association With Sleep Problems and Internet Addiction

Sami Hamdan*, Alan Apter, Yossi Levi-Belz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Although Non-suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI) has received more attention in recent years, most of these studies focused on samples from North American and European countries; consequently, little is known about its patterns and frequency in other cultures as well as its relation to sleep problems and internet addiction. As one of the few studies that aim to fill this gap, the current study examined the prevalence, characteristics, and types of NSSI behaviors among adolescents from diverse ethnocultural groups. Methods: A sample of 642 adolescents, aged 12–18 years, were randomly recruited from different middle and high schools in Israel, employing a snowball sampling technique. The sample included the following: 50% Jews and 34.7% Muslims born in Israel, 9.7% immigrants from the former Soviet Union (FSU), and 4.4% immigrants from Ethiopia. The participants completed self-report questionnaires that assessed their NSSI, sleep problems, internet addictions, and depressive symptoms. Results: Almost one-third of the sample had engaged in NSSI, while 6% frequently injured themselves. More than half of the FSU immigrants and one-third of the Muslim participants indicated that they engaged in NSSI. These two population groups also exhibited severe depressive symptoms, sleep problems, and internet addictions. The most parsimonious correlations with NSSI included being male, an immigrant/Muslim minority who exhibited severe depressive symptoms and internet addictions. Conclusions: These results emphasize the need for routine NSSI assessments to prevent long-term sequelae, including any forms of suicidal thoughts and behaviors and adult borderline personality disorder (BPD). Primary preventive programs that include adaptive coping skills may eliminate the social contagion effect of NSSI.

Original languageEnglish
Article number899956
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
StatePublished - 13 May 2022


  • Non-suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI)
  • depression
  • ethnicity
  • internet addiction
  • sleep problems


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