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J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2008 Apr;37(2):363-75. doi: 10.1080/15374410801955771.

Psychiatric impairment among adolescents engaging in different types of deliberate self-harm.

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  • 1Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute, USA.


This retrospective chart review study of 227 participants examined the psychiatric profiles of outpatient adolescents ages 12 to 19 years (M = 15.08 years, SD = 1.72 years) engaging in different types of deliberate self-harm (DSH) behaviors. Participants were divided into four groups: no deliberate self-harm (NoDSH; n = 119), nonsuicidal self-injury only (NSSI only; n = 30), suicide attempt only (n = 38), and suicide attempt plus NSSI (n = 40). Those who attempted suicide were more likely to have major depressive disorder and/or posttraumatic stress disorder than those who engaged in NSSI only. Those who engaged in any type of DSH were more likely to have features of borderline personality disorder than those who did not engage in DSH. The suicidal ideation levels of those in the NSSI group were similar to those in the NoDSH group. Findings offer empirical support for the importance of distinguishing between suicidal and nonsuicidal self-harm behaviors.

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