Introduction: This study investigated the nature and scope of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) content on a popular microblogging website Tumblr; as well a preliminary investigation of the motivations for interacting with NSSI content on Tumblr. Methods: Content analysis of 150 self-injury posts resulted in the identification of themes: melancholic, emotional expression, descriptions of cutting and self-injury. This was followed by notable frequencies of encouraging, supportive, and information providing content. Results: Motivation for website interaction was examined through a survey of 4 male, 27 female, and 5 other gender participants. ‘Reflects state of mind’ was the most reported motivation for interaction with negative content. Content discussing emotional expression appears uniquely popular on Tumblr. Conclusions: Content on Tumblr that is categorised as NSSI-related consists of posts that are both concerning and encouraging. High frequencies of information, supportive, and encouraging content suggests that an effective informal support system may be available via this community. However, in the same instance, large amounts of negative, emotional, and potentially triggering content may be detrimental to those considering or already engaging in NSSI behaviour. Social contagion theory suggests that the easy accessibility to such content may be potentially harmful. Tumblr users appear to be motivated by personal reflection and attempts to communicatewith negative content. Further research is necessary to determine this motivation in more detail.
Joint meeting of the 22nd International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions World Congress and the 36th Annual Conference for the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (ICAPAP): Fighting Stigma, Promoting Resiliency and Positive Mental Health, Prague, Czech Republic 23-27 July 2018
Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry / Vol. 25, No. 3, Supplement, pp.139