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Publication Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School for Social Work


Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI), Secondary trauma, Burnout, College students, Resident assistants, Parasuicide, Self-injurious behavior, Secondary traumatic stress, College students-Suicidal behavior, Resident assistants (Dormitories)-Job stress, Burn out (Psychology)


Nonsuicidal Self-Injury (NSSI) is a common occurrence on college campuses, yet the effect on nearby students in residence halls is minimally understood. NSSI has been studied in terms of frequency, co-morbidity, and function, and it reflects an impaired capacity to regulate emotions that can be understood within a psychodynamic framework. This investigation explores how NSSI use by college students living in residence halls can affect Resident Assistants (RAs), how RAs respond to assist the students in distress, and how they manage their own reactions. The research demonstrates the highly complicated nature of NSSI in residence halls that can have a ripple effect. The analysis identifies that RAs who work with residents struggling with NSSI have higher levels of secondary traumatic stress and burnout than RAs who do not, and that peers can become highly involved in working to regulate the distressed resident. This study will interest social workers who work in college counseling centers, who want to understand the consequences of the NSSI their clients might be using, or who want to modify the effects of secondary trauma and burnout that might be experienced by peers or nonclinical staff.




viii, 330 pages : color illustration. Includes bibliographical references (pages 246-271)