Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling Psychology & Community Services


Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) has been increasing in clinical as well as non- clinical populations in recent years. There are few published reports of the investigation of this behavior in the transgender community. An online and paper and pencil survey was administered to transgender individuals over the course of six months. A total 977 people responded to the survey. Results indicated that 41.8 percent of the participants have a history of engaging in non-suicidal self-injury. Self-injury rates were significantly higher among female-to-male (FTM) participants than among male-to-female (MTF) participants. Further, individuals who have been prevented from transitioning were more likely to engage in self-injury than those who have not been prevented. Results support the idea that those who engage in self-injury have, or could have co-occurring mental health concerns, specifically anxiety and depression. Additionally the constructs of protection and feeling from the Body Investment Scale were found to be predictive of self-injury in the transgender community.

These research findings shed new light on the patterns and prevalence of NSSI in the transgender population and will inform the practice of mental health professionals who work with transgender clients. Limitations of the study include the use of the Internet for survey research and the self-report study design.