Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Selected Ongoing Research Projects

If you are interested in participating in one of our ongoing research studies, we invite you to visit our Recruitment page.

Treatment for Self-Injurious Behaviors (T-SIB)
Despite the alarming prevalence of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) in young adults and the negative consequences associated with the behavior, no treatments specific to NSSI currently exist. The purpose of this research study is to develop, implement, and evaluate an intervention specifically for NSSI in young adults, the Treatment for Self-Injurious Behaviors. This time-limited intervention integrates theoretically- and empirically-based strategies with the goal of reducing frequency and severity of NSSI. The open pilot trial was completed in 2010; the randomized controlled trial is currently underway. This study is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.

T-SIB is a 9 session psychotherapy that specifically addresses NSSI urges and behaviors. Prospective clients will receive a diagnostic evaluation, regular assessments throughout the study, and will be eligible to receive the T-SIB intervention free of charge. Clients can continue with other treatments while involved in T-SIB.
View Treatment Study Brochure

Pain Perception and Self-Injury
We are examining pain perception among non-clinical samples without and without histories of NSSI and attempted suicide, in a laboratory-based study. We are especially interested in examining variables that may contribute to pain perception in self-injury, such as habituation and distress tolerance.

Differing Functions of Specific NSSI Behaviors
This study examines whether different methods of NSSI are performed to fulfill different functions. This will help us to understand the variability of NSSI within the individual. This study will also help us to develop more effective treatments for NSSI.

Medical Severity of NSSI
Researchers and clinicians alike often associate NSSI severity with particular methods of injury; however, research has not supported this practice. Two studies in our lab currently examine the medical severity of NSSI. First, we are testing a measure to assess medical severity of NSSI. Second, in conjunction with colleagues at the University of Guelph, we are examining whether the medical severity of NSSI injuries is related to emotionality of a narrative and to demographic characteristics. Results of these studies will improve NSSI assessment and future research.

Direct and Indirect Self-Injury
Furthering research on the distinction between NSSI and other self-injurious behaviors, this study investigates the relations between direct self-injury (i.e., NSSI and attempted suicide) and indirect self-injury (i.e., risky behaviors that increase risk of injury). Understanding the similarities and differences of direct and indirect self-injury will help us to better understand the behaviors and to develop more effective interventions to reduce the occurrence of both behaviors.

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