City Research Online

The experience of self-injury in LGBTQ+ adults: a phenomenological enquiry

Karavadra, S. (2020). The experience of self-injury in LGBTQ+ adults: a phenomenological enquiry. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


Non-suicidal self-injury continues to present a significant challenge for mental health services as the number of those engaging in it increases. LGBTQ+ individuals are at significantly higher risk of mental health difficulties including self-injury, due to identifying as members of a sexual minority and due to the associated stigma. This qualitative research explores the lived experience of and meaning attributed to self-injury in six adults identifying as LGBTQ+. Semi structured interviews were conducted, and the resulting data was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.

Four super-ordinate themes emerged from the analysis: ‘Experiences of the self’, ‘Experiences of the other’, ‘The act itself’ and ‘Recovery’. The interplay between experiences of self-injury and experiences of sexual identity is discussed, focusing both on the difficulties and strengths of LGBTQ+ individuals engaging in the act. Findings contribute not only to the field of LGBTQ+ psychology, but also to the developing body qualitative research into self-injury. Their implications for mental health professionals working with LGBTQ+ populations are reviewed.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: Doctoral Theses
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > School of Health & Psychological Sciences Doctoral Theses
[thumbnail of Redacted.SayaKaravadra.Thesis without comments_Redacted.pdf]
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