The Impact of Social Media Platforms on Self-Injurious Behavior in Adolescents



The paper provides a review of studies on non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) in online social networking. Content characteristics of online self-injury narrative are examined by focusing on such categories as hashtags, images, and comments. Negative and positive aspects of social networks’ impact on the risk of self-injury in adolescent are summarized. The presence of NSSI content online and the ability to communicate on issues relating to self-injury can either improve psychological well-being of the users by increasing their mood and self-acceptance, giving means to receive support from others and get information on mental health resources, or increase the person’s susceptibility to self-injuries by initiating their interest in this subject and reinforcing, and encouraging repeated self-harm. Therefore, mental health professionals are facing a global challenge: to create supportive and helpful online content, which implies the development of a new methodology, including language and terminology, that could integrate existing online discourse on self-injury and transform it from within.

General Information

Keywords: self-injurious behavior, the Internet, social media, mental health, virtual identity, adolescence, youth

Journal rubric: Empirical Researches

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Polskaya N.A., Yakubovskaya D.K. The Impact of Social Media Platforms on Self-Injurious Behavior in Adolescents. Konsul'tativnaya psikhologiya i psikhoterapiya = Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy, 2019. Vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 156–174. DOI: 10.17759/cpp.2019270310. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Natalia A. Polskaya, Doctor of Psychology, Associate Professor, Professor of the Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy Department, Faculty of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Leading Researcher, Scientific and Practical Center for Mental Health of Children and Adolescents named after G.E. Sukhareva of the Moscow Department of Public Health, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Daria K. Yakubovskaya, Student, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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