[Deliberate self harm in adolescents].Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen 2003; 123(16):2241-5TN
The multisenterstudy Child and Adolescent Self Harm in Europe aims at gaining more valid knowledge about the prevalence of deliberate self harm in adolescents and the factors associated with it. A new method was developed by which the adolescents' self-reported acts of deliberate self harm are included and categorised according to strict predefined criteria.
MATERIAL AND METHOD
4060 11th grade students (response rate 91.2 %) aged 15 and 16 in 36 Norwegian high schools filled in an anonymous self-report questionnaire.
266 (6.6 %) reported one or more acts of deliberate self harm that met the study criteria over the course of the previous twelve-month period. Cutting (74.1 %) and self-poisoning (16.9 %) were most prevalent. 14.7 % had been in contact with a hospital; 46.7 % of self-poisoning episodes but only 6.1 % of cutting episodes were treated in hospital. Deliberate self harm was more common in females than in males (10.2 % vs 3.1 %, odds ratio 3.5, 95 % CI 2.66 - 4.72). Multiple logistic regression showed significant associations for both sexes between deliberate self harm and low self-esteem, deliberate self harm by friends, serious conflicts with parents, or drug misuse. For girls, alcohol misuse, parents being divorced, being sexually abused, anxiety and impulsivity were also significant; so was deliberate self harm in the family for boys.
Deliberate self harm among adolescents requires varied and intensified efforts.