“You leave the chat with a different feeling than when you came in”. A Content Analysis about Negative Experiences Following Instant Messaging among Adolescents with and without a History of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury

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Published Jun 20, 2022
Delia Latina Benjamin Claréus Brianne Gayfer Polona Sajco Stephen P. Lewis

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Instant messaging platforms seem to positively contribute to adolescent emotional well-being. However, some scholars show a link between the use of these platforms and negative emotional experiences. These emotions could be perceived as even more overwhelming for certain subgroups of adolescents, such as those who engage in non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), and lead to self-injury to deal with otherwise difficult to handle feelings.

OBJECTIVE: The current study aimed at providing a deeper understanding of what kind of experiences during instant messaging communications are perceived as emotionally upsetting by adolescents with and without NSSI, and which situations could trigger NSSI thoughts or attempts in adolescents with lived experiences.

METHOD: We used content analysis to analyze short interviews conducted with a total of 17 adolescents with and without lived experiences of NSSI.

RESULTS: Our results showed that experience of Involvement in conflicts, and especially Name-calling and insults, triggered negative emotional experiences for most adolescents (76.5%). Interpersonal stressors like Name-calling and insults, Disagreements or arguments, Unwanted contact, Friendship break-up and “Ghosting” were identified as major triggers for NSSI.

CONCLUSION: These findings could be used for the purpose of facilitating future research into mapping negative experiences adolescents have on instant messaging platforms, as well as used as a clinical guide to identify situations related to NSSI thoughts or episodes.

How to Cite

Latina, D., Claréus , B., Gayfer , B., Sajco, P., & Lewis, S. P. (2022). “You leave the chat with a different feeling than when you came in”. A Content Analysis about Negative Experiences Following Instant Messaging among Adolescents with and without a History of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury. Digital Psychology, 3(1), 3–10. https://doi.org/10.24989/dp.v3i1.2045

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Keywords

Instant Messaging Communication, Non-suicidal Self-injury, Negative Emotions, Adolescence

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Original Article