Christiane Eichenberg & Markus Schott (2016): An Empirical Analysis of Internet Message Boards for Self-Harming Behavior


Much debate sur­rounds the poten­tial effects of self-harm forum use. Argu­ments in favor high­light fac­tors such as pro­vi­ding access to a sup­por­tive com­mu­nity. Howe­ver cri­ti­cal voice high­light­ing poten­tial dan­gers such as forums ser­ving as a plat­form to pro­mote self-harm, clearly domi­nate the debate. Using an online ques­ti­on­naire, the goal of the cur­rent study was to examine soci­ode­mo­gra­phic cha­rac­te­ris­tics, the psy­cho­pa­tho­logy of forum users, moti­ves for par­ti­ci­pa­ting, and sub­jec­tive effects of self-harm forum use. A total of 309 self-harm forum users par­ti­ci­pa­ted in this study. 3 hete­ro­ge­neous user types with dif­fe­ring moti­ves for visit­ing the forum and dif­fe­rent usage effects were iden­ti­fied. The results ques­tion the assump­ti­ons that self-harm forums are a source of harm and point to their pre­do­mi­nantly con­struc­tive and preven­tive func­tions.

Zum voll­stän­di­gen Online-Artikel in Archi­ves of Sui­cide Rese­arch:

Eichen­berg, C. & Schott, M. (2016). An Empi­ri­cal Ana­ly­sis of Inter­net Mes­sage Boards for Self-Harming Beha­vior. Archi­ves of Sui­cide Rese­arch, DOI: