Distinguishing between subgroups of adolescents who self-harm.
Hargus E., Hawton K., Rodham K.
The differences in factors associated with subgroups of adolescents in the continuum of deliberate self-harm (DSH) phenomena were investigated. In an anonymous self-report survey of 6,020 adolescents aged 15 and 16 years, 3.2% of adolescents (5.3% females, 1.3% males) reported DSH with intent to die, 2.8% (4.3% females; 1.5% males) reported DSH without intent to die, and 15% (22.4% females; 8.5% males) reported thoughts of DSH without acts. Regression analysis indicated considerable overlap in vulnerability factors along the spectrum of DSH thoughts and acts. A uniquely distinct relationship was found between DSH of a friend and DSH without intent to die on one hand and DSH of a family member with DSH with intent to die on the other. Results indicate that familial and nonfamilial social influences on DSH behavior may be important in designing prevention programs and that educational programs for the promotion of psychological well-being may be helpful for adolescents at any point along the spectrum of DSH that was examined.