Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Jiuqing Cheng, Honors Thesis Advisor


Self-harm, also known as Self-Mutilating Behavior (SMB) has emerged as a major concern in this era of globalization as the prevalence rate of self-mutilating behavior has increased drastically. The statistic usually depends on self-report as SMB are often done in private. There was a total of one hundred and six participants were recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk (mTurk) and each participant was given $1.00 for their time. The survey was administered via Qualtrics. In the result, 90 participants have reported to be involved in SMB and 67 were males while 28 were females. The age range of the participants were from 20 to 67. The common SMB that was engaged was cutting, overdosing, torturing oneself with self-defeating thoughts, etc. SMB is also commonly started during adolescence (40%) and young adulthood (51.1%). The study has identified the reasons for SMB including expressing internalized emotions and following someone else’s footsteps. Moreover, the reasons for SMB were positively correlated with the behavior of SMB. Furthermore, participants who were clinically diagnosed reported more SMB compared to those who were not. People who were dissatisfied and felt hope in their treatment also found to have more SMB (-.614). Therefore, it is essential to spread awareness about SMB to educate the public. There are also resources available that could help people who are suffering from SMB, such as social support, therapies, counselling services, and as well as non-western interventions. The findings of this study have to be seen in light of some limitations that could be addressed in future studies.

Keywords: Self-Mutilation Behavior, Suicidal Self-Injury, Non-Suicidal Self Injury, Suicide

Year of Submission



Department of Psychology

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


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