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Table 2 Why stop? Attribution categories, sub-themes, and examples

From: Predictors of self-injury cessation and subsequent psychological growth: results of a probability sample survey of students in eight universities and colleges

Category/subtheme (% of all respondents with this as a primary or secondary code) Example
Connection with others (36 %)
Positive connections 23.9 % “I entered into a loving relationship”
“Some of my high school friends were really concerned about what they knew, and talking to them helped a lot”
Negative effect on cared for others 5.2 % “I stopped because of the people that loved me at the time. I wasn’t just hurting myself, but I was hurting the people that cared about me. That was hard for me to understand, but once it clicked I was done.”
Removal of negative relationships 6.9 % “Space away from family/frustration.”
“I moved away from the cause – my parents.”
Professional/Therapeutic Support (7.4 %) “Through the program of recovery that I follow for my substance abuse problem (AA) and through the assistance of my therapist/psychiatrist, I have learned that I am not alone in those feelings and have been shown real solutions for the uncomfortable feelings I have.”
Emotion Regulation (62.6 %)
Self-awareness 38.7 % “I also developed more of a sense of proportion: by which I mean, firstly, that I started to realize that however bad I feel, it’s probable that I’ll feel better at some point in future, and that I should the not act in ways that might permanently diminish my happiness; and secondly, that my emotional distress is minor in comparison to that of many other people.”
“I gained self-esteem and wasn’t so hard on myself anymore”
Coping skills (tools/behaviors or direct differences) 23.9 % “I realized I could cope with my emotions in less destructive ways.”
“I practice martial arts and work out to focus my mind, being able to spar with someone else helps too.”
Life circumstances changed (10.7 %) “I am happy with my life now, there is no reason for me to be nervous or scared or angry all the time”
Fear of consequences (14.2 %)
Environmental/Social 3.5 % “The school made an official policy against the scars and penalized students for doing so. This is when I stopped doing it.”
Physical effects 10.7 % “I cut too deeply and scared myself.”
“I don’t want to have scars; they’re ugly.”
Maturity (26.9 %) “I grew out of it and realized I didn’t need attention that badly.”
“Most of it I attribute to maturing, to growing out of the raging hormones of adolescence.”
Minimal life effects (15.7 %) “It doesn’t really matter to me that much whether I do it again or not. Now I don’t ever feel the need to, but I wasn’t addicted and I had no serious incidents.”