Nonsuicidal self-harm in youth: a population-based survey

Nixon, Mary K.; Cloutier, Paula; Jansson, S. Mikael
January 2008
CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal;1/29/2008, Vol. 178 Issue 3, p306
Academic Journal
Background: Nonsuicidal self-harm includes cutting, scratching, burning and minor overdosing. There have been few studies that have examined the rate of self-harm and mental-health correlates among community-based youth. We performed a population-based study to determine the prevalence of nonsuicidal self-harm, its mental-health correlates and help-seeking behaviour. Methods: We used data from the Victoria Healthy Youth Survey, a population-based longitudinal survey of youth aged 14-21 in Victoria, British Columbia. The survey included questions about the history, method, frequency, age of onset and help-seeking for nonsuicidal self-harm. Youth were interviewed between February and June 2005. Univariable group differences were analyzed using students t test for continuous data and χ2 for binary or categorical data. Multivariate analyses were conducted by use of multivariate analysis of variance and logistic regression. Results: Ninety-six of 568 (16.9%) youth indicated that they had ever harmed themselves. Self-injuries such as cutting, scratching and self-hitting were the most common forms of nonsuicidal self-harm (83.2%). The mean age of onset was 15.2 years. Of those who reported nonsuicidal self-harm, 56% had sought help for this behaviour. Participants who reported 5 or more symptoms (out of 6) in a given symptom category were more likely than those who reported less than 5 symptoms to report nonsuicidal selfharm for the following categories: depressive mood (odds ratio [OR] 2.18, confidence interval [CI] 1.28-3.7) and problems with regulation of attention, impulsivity and activity (OR 2.24, CI 1.33-3.76). Interpretation: We found a high lifetime prevalence of nonsuicidal self-harm. Many mental-health symptoms were associated with this behaviour, particularly those with depressive mood and attention-related problems. Just over half of youth reported seeking help for nonsuicidal selfharm. Clinicians who encounter youth should be vigilant to assess for this behaviour in youth who present with mental health issues.


Related Articles

  • Help-seeking behaviour following school-based screening for current suicidality among European adolescents. Cotter, Pádraig; Kaess, Michael; Corcoran, Paul; Parzer, Peter; Brunner, Romuald; Keeley, Helen; Carli, Vladimir; Wasserman, Camilla; Hoven, Christina; Sarchiapone, Marco; Apter, Alan; Balazs, Judit; Bobes, Julio; Cosman, Doina; Haring, Christian; Kahn, Jean-Pierre; Resch, Franz; Postuvan, Vita; Värnik, Airi; Wasserman, Danuta // Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology;Jun2015, Vol. 50 Issue 6, p973 

    Purpose: To screen and clinically interview European adolescents reporting current suicidality (suicidal ideation and suicide attempt) and investigate attendance at the clinical interview. Methods: The Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe (SEYLE) Project was carried out in 11 European...

  • Deprivation of liberty safeguards. Griffith, Richard; Tengnah, Cassam // British Journal of Community Nursing;Nov2008, Vol. 13 Issue 11, p532 

    The Mental Health Act 2007 introduced an amendment to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 that authorizes the deprivation of liberty of a person who lacks decision-making capacity in a care home or hospital where this is necessary to protect them from harm. District nurses will have such patients on...

  • DESIRE FOR HELP AMONG AFRICAN-AMERICAN DRUG USERS. Longshore, Douglas; Grills, Cheryl; Anglin, M. Douglas; Annon, Kiku // Journal of Drug Issues;Fall97, Vol. 27 Issue 4, p755 

    We examined demographic factors, drug-problem seventy indicators, and social and personal resources of African-American drug users as correlates of their self-reported desire for help with problems related to drug use. Avoiding the "ethnic gloss" of earlier research, we included...

  • Help-Seeking Behaviours of Individuals With Mood Disorders. Jian Li Wang; Patten, Scott B.; Williams, Jeanne V. A.; Currie, Shawn; Beck, Cynthia A.; Maxwell, Colleen J.; El-Guebaly, Nady // Canadian Journal of Psychiatry;Sep2005, Vol. 50 Issue 10, p652 

    Objectives: This study had the following objectives: 1) to estimate the 12-month prevalence of conventional and unconventional mental health service use by individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD) or mania in the past year, and 2) to identify factors associated with the use of...

  • Beliefs about mental health problems and help-seeking behavior in Dutch young adults. Vanheusden, Kathleen; van der Ende, Jan; Mulder, Cornelis L.; van Lenthe, Frank J.; Verhulst, Frank C.; Mackenbach, Johan P. // Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology;Mar2009, Vol. 44 Issue 3, p239 

    Mental health problems in young adults are frequent and impairing, but are often left untreated. This study among young adults with self-perceived mental health problems examines beliefs about mental health problems (i.e. their cause, consequences, timeline, and controllability) and help-seeking...

  • How the relationship of attitudes toward mental health treatment and service use differs by age, gender, ethnicity/race and education. Gonzalez, Jodi; Alegría, Margarita; Prihoda, Thomas; Copeland, Laurel; Zeber, John // Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology;Jan2011, Vol. 46 Issue 1, p45 

    Background: Promoting help-seeking for mental health problems can result in improved treatment rates. For the most impact, social marketing interventions need to be tailored to targeted demographic subgroups. We investigated the influence of interactions between attitudes toward treatment and...

  • Beliefs and perception about mental health issues: a meta-synthesis. Choudhry, Fahad Riaz; Mani, Fahad Riaz; Long Chiau Ming; Khan, Tahir Mehmood // Neuropsychiatric Disease & Treatment;Oct2016, Vol. 12, p2807 

    Background: Mental health literacy is the beliefs and knowledge about mental health issues and their remedies. Attitudes and beliefs of lay individuals about mental illness are shaped by personal knowledge about mental illness, knowing and interacting with someone living with mental illness, and...

  • Prevalence of mental illness among homeless men in the community--approach to a full census in a southern German university town. Längle, Gerhard; Egerter, Birgit; Albrecht, Friederike; Petrasch, Monika; Buchkremer, Gerhard; Längle, Gerhard // Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology;May2005, Vol. 40 Issue 5, p382 

    Aim: Within the framework of a study of homeless men in the university town of Tubingen in southern Germany, the prevalence of psychiatric disorders and the existing help-seeking behavior, among other things, were to be recorded.Method: A total of 151 men belonging to...

  • Intimate Partner Violence Victims’ Accuracy in Assessing their Risk of Re-abuse. Cattaneo, Lauren; Bell, Margret; Goodman, Lisa; Dutton, Mary // Journal of Family Violence;Aug2007, Vol. 22 Issue 6, p429 

    Using four categories of accuracy (true positive, false positive, true negative, false negative), this study explored (1) how accurately intimate partner violence (IPV) victims are able to assess their risk of re-abuse; and (2) potential predictors of accuracy. Women seeking help for IPV ( N =...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics