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Med J Aust. 2004 Aug 2;181(3):140-4.

Who are the kids who self-harm? An Australian self-report school survey.

Author information

  • 1Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, Griffith University, Messines Ridge Road, Mt Gravatt, Queensland 4122, Australia. d.deleo@griffith.edu.au

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the prevalence and types of deliberate self-harm (DSH) in adolescents, and associated factors.

DESIGN:

A cross-sectional questionnaire study.

PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING:

3757 of 4097 Year 10 and Year 11 students (91.7%) from 14 high schools on the Gold Coast, Queensland, during September 2002.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

DSH behaviour, including descriptions of the last act, psychological symptoms, recent stressors, coping styles, help-seeking behaviour, lifestyle choices, and self-prescribing of medications.

RESULTS:

233 students (6.2%) met the criteria for DSH in the previous 12 months, with DSH more prevalent in females than males (OR, 7.5; 95% CI, 5.1-10.9). The main methods were self-cutting (138 respondents; 59.2%) and overdosing with medication (69 respondents; 29.6%). Factors associated with DSH included similar behaviours in friends or family, coping by self-blame, and self-prescribing of medications. Most self-harmers did not seek help before or after their most recent action, with those who did primarily consulting friends.

CONCLUSIONS:

DSH is common in Australian youth, especially in females. Preventive programs should encourage young people to consult health professionals in stressful situations.

PMID:
15287831
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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