Date of Award

December 2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Shawn P. Cahill

Committee Members

Christine L. Larson, Jonathan W. Kanter


Automatic Reinforcement, NSSI, Self Injury


Non-Suicidal Self Injury (NSSI) is characterized as self-harm without suicidal intent. NSSI typically encompasses behaviors such as "cutting" or "burning" one's self. Recent research has found NSSI to be increasingly prevalent in young adults, particularly those of college age, and that NSSI is associated with significant negative health consequences. Current conceptualization of NSSI includes four distinct functions described as The Four Factor Model of NSSI (Nock and Prinstein, 2004). The present study surveys UWM students to assess for NSSI and to follow-up with additional questions relating to the Four Factor Model. More specifically, the study aims to investigate the two automatic (intrapersonal) functions of NSSI described as Automatic Negative Reinforcement and Automatic Positive Reinforcement, with particular emphasis on the latter function.