American Journal of Applied Psychology
Volume 3, Issue 4, July 2014, Pages: 104-109
Received: Jul. 16, 2014;
Accepted: Jul. 30, 2014;
Published: Aug. 10, 2014
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Anika Wessel, Dept. of Internal Medicine, Johanniter Hospital Geesthacht, Geesthacht, Germany
Erich Kasten, Dept. of Neuropsychology, Medical School Hamburg, University of Applied Sciences, Hamburg, Germany
Goal was to examine the connection between piercings and self-mutilation and the practice of self-piercing. Participants (n=140) completed an anonymous online survey consisting of a 54-item questionnaire and a standardized personality test. All respondents were members of internet communities specialized on piercings. The majority of participants (77.1%) were female, 22.9% were male. The mean age of the group was 24.7 years (range: 16-57 years). Participants had an average of 8.9 piercings. More than half (57.9%) of participants were between 15 and 20 years old when they acquired their first piercing. The most common piercings reported were facial (in 82.9% of participants), ear cartilage (in 67.9% of participants), nipple (in 48.6% of participants) and genital piercings (in 45.0% of participants). Participants were asked to complete the NEO-FFI personality inventory, which is a tool used to measure the personality factors Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Extraversion, Openness and Neuroticism. Although all of the NEO-FFI results were within the average norm, significant differences between the participants with/without self-injury were found regarding the T-Scores for Neuroticism and Agreeableness. Thirty-one percent of the participants reported a history of self-mutilation. Those with a history of self-mutilation did not have more piercings than their peers. Half of these individuals described a decrease in auto-aggressive behavior since having acquired piercings, twenty-five percent claim to have ceased self-injurious behavior. The incidence of self-mutilation appears to be higher among pierced individuals than among the general public. Participants who had engaged in self-injury had significantly more often self-pierced. Piercings and self-piercings may serve as substitute behavior for self-mutilation in some individuals.
Body Piercing and Self-Mutilation: A Multifaceted Relationship, American Journal of Applied Psychology.
Vol. 3, No. 4,
2014, pp. 104-109.
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