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Open AccessArticle

Mediating Effect of Social Support in the Relationship Between Childhood Abuse and Non-Suicidal Self-Injury Among Chinese Undergraduates: The Role of Only-Child Status

by Huiqiong Xu 1,†, Xianbing Song 2,†, Shanshan Wang 1, Shichen Zhang 1,3, Shaojun Xu 1,3,* and Yuhui Wan 1,3,*
1
Department of Maternal, Child & Adolescent Health, School of Public Health, Anhui Medical University, 81 Meishan Road, Hefei 230032, Anhui, China
2
Department of Basic Course, Anhui medical College, 632 Furong Road, Hefei 230601, Anhui, China
3
Anhui Provincial Key Laboratory of Population Health &Aristogenics, 81 Meishan Road, Hefei 230032, Anhui, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(20), 4023; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16204023
Received: 3 September 2019 / Revised: 14 October 2019 / Accepted: 16 October 2019 / Published: 21 October 2019
Previous research has found a relationship between child abuse and non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI). However, few studies have examined the role of social support underlying this association. Moreover, the influence of the only child status on the mediating effect of social support has not been studied yet. The aim of this study was to investigate the mediating role of social support on the association between specific forms of child abuse and NSSI as well as the role of the only child status on the mediated pathways, among undergraduates. A total of 4799 participants were selected from two medical colleges in the Anhui province using stratified cluster sampling. Pearson's correlation analysis was used in analyzing the relationship. Bootstrapping procedures were applied to examine the mediating effects. After adjusting for confounders, the results showed that the mediating effect of social support on the association between childhood abuse and NSSI was not significant in the total sample. However, among only children, the mediating effects of social support between overall childhood abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and NSSI were 9.65%, 14.82%, and 8.12%, respectively. Moreover, the mediating effect of social support from family and relatives was relatively higher than that from other sources. Social support had a mediating effect on the relationship between childhood abuse and NSSI among only-children. The enhancing of social support may contribute to the prevention and control of NSSI for those who were only-children in undergraduates, especially those who have experienced childhood abuse. View Full-Text
Keywords: child abuse; social support; non-suicidal self-injury; college students child abuse; social support; non-suicidal self-injury; college students
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Xu, H.; Song, X.; Wang, S.; Zhang, S.; Xu, S.; Wan, Y. Mediating Effect of Social Support in the Relationship Between Childhood Abuse and Non-Suicidal Self-Injury Among Chinese Undergraduates: The Role of Only-Child Status. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 4023.

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