Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) is a prevalent and concerning behavior and its risk pathways require a greater understanding, particularly in predicting short-term risk. Although the literature has supported a between-person link among NSSI and alcohol use, limited research has directly examined the nuances of this relationship at the within-person level using intensive longitudinal data.
Utilizing two independent samples (total n = 85), the current study examined bidirectional, concurrent and prospective risk relationships between NSSI and alcohol, considering both urges and behavior engagement, via ecological momentary assessment.
Findings demonstrate concurrent, within-person relationships between NSSI urges and alcohol urges, as well as alcohol use. Alternatively, prospective between-person findings demonstrated negative relationships between NSSI urges and alcohol use, as well as alcohol urges and NSSI acts; however, this may represent suppression effects as associations were positive with the removal of autoregressive effects.
Together, findings support proximal risk relationships between NSSI and alcohol experiences that, for urges in particular, is bidirectional.