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Child Adolesc Psychiatry Ment Health. 2012 Mar 30;6:11. doi: 10.1186/1753-2000-6-11.

The co-occurrence of non-suicidal self-injury and attempted suicide among adolescents: distinguishing risk factors and psychosocial correlates.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Fordham University, 441 East Fordham Road, Bronx, NY 10458, USA. andover@fordham.edu.


Although attempted suicide and non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) are distinct behaviors differing in intent, form, and function, the behaviors co-occur at a high rate in both adults and adolescents. Researchers have begun to investigate the association between attempted suicide and NSSI among adolescents. The purpose of this paper is to present current research on this association. First, we discuss definitional issues associated with self-injurious behaviors. Next, we present research on the co-occurrence of attempted suicide and NSSI, including prevalence and associations with self-injury characteristics. We then discuss psychosocial variables associated with engaging in both NSSI and attempted suicide or one type of self-injury alone. Finally, we present the research to date on risk factors uniquely associated with either attempted suicide or NSSI. Implications for mental health professionals and future avenues of research are discussed.

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