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Poor psychological health and stressful-life events are more common in adolescents with self-harm thoughts or episodes

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Question

Question

Are there associations between psychological characteristics, life event and self-harm history among teenagers?

Population

30 447 adolescents (14 to 17 years old) participating in the Child & Adolescent Self-harm in Europe (CASE) study. Adolescents attended secondary schools that were selected to be locally and nationally representative. Response rate varied from 81% to 91% in the participating countries.

Setting

Belgium, England, Hungary, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway and Australia; time period not stated.

Assessment

Anonymous school-based survey, including questions on self-harm, psychological characteristics and stressful-life events. Self-harm was defined as deliberate actions intended to cause self-harm that were non-fatal, regardless of motivation. Four psychological characteristics were measured: anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale), impulsivity (six item scale) and self-esteem (eight item abbreviated Robson self-concept scale). There were 10 categories of stressful-life events, which were categorised as occurring in the past 12 months and/or prior to this.

Outcomes

Thoughts and episodes of self-harm.

Methods

Design

Cross-sectional study.

Main results

Over the past year, 14.6% of participants had self-harm thoughts without an …

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