Examining Sexual Assault Victimization and Loneliness as Risk Factors Associated With Nonlethal Self-Harm Behaviors in Female College Students: Is It Important to Control for Concomitant Suicidal Behaviors (and Vice Versa)?

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The present study examined sexual assault victimization and loneliness as predictors of self-harm behaviors in a sample of 224 female college students. Results from conducting regression analysis indicated that both sexual assault victimization and loneliness were unique and significant predictors of self-harm behaviors. This pattern remained even after controlling for concomitant suicidal behaviors. Interestingly, in a post hoc analysis predicting suicidal behaviors, it was found that loneliness, but not sexual assault victimization, was the only unique and significant predictor after controlling for self-harm behaviors. Some implications of the present findings for understanding self-harm behaviors in female college students and the importance of controlling for suicidal behaviors in studies of self-harm behaviors (and vice versa) are discussed.