Perduring COVID-19 pandemic, perceived well-being, and non-suicidal self-injury behaviors (NSSI) in emerging adults

Loredana Benedetto, Claudia Vicentino, Caterina Merulla, Massimo Ingrassia


Introduction. Covid-19 pandemic negatively influenced daily life and psychological well-being on global population. Since conditions of emotional distress appear to underlie non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) episodes, particularly for individuals with difficulties in emotion regulation, the study explored the relationship between low psychological well-being and the occurrence of NSSI during COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods. The study involved two community samples of Italian young adults (18-30 y.o.) recruited in post-lockdown (T1, N=159) or perduring COVID-19 period (T2, N=143). Participants completed online self-report questionnaires on reported NSSI episodes (DSHI), psychological well-being (PWB), and emotion dysregulation (DERS).

Results. NSSI occurrence resulted higher in T1 (31.4%) than in T2 period (17.5%). No differences emerged in perceived well-being between T1 and T2, and participants with NSSI (vs. without) reported lower psychological well-being and more emotion dysregulation.

Conclusion. Results are discussed according to an eudaimonic perspective that places self-realization and positive functioning as core characteristics of individual’s well-being and resilience to stressful life circumstances.


Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI); Psychological well-being; Emotion dysregulation; Emerging adults; COVID-19.

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