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Deliberate self-harm by under-15-year-olds: characteristics, trends and outcome.
J Child Psychol Psychiatry 2008; 49(4):441-8JC

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Relatively little information is available about the characteristics and long-term outcome of children and adolescents aged under 15 years who present to general hospitals because of deliberate self-harm (DSH).

METHOD

Information was collected on 710 consecutive under-15-year-olds presenting to a general hospital in central England with DSH over a 26-year period (1978-2003). Outcome in terms of death was investigated from national statistics in 464 cases presenting during the first 20 years of the study.

RESULTS

Most individuals were aged 12-14 years. In this age group the female:male ratio was 6.5:1. Nearly all (680/710, 95.8%) had taken overdoses, over half of these episodes involving paracetamol (acetaminophen). Few had a history of prior (7.7%) or current psychiatric treatment (7.7%), although a quarter (150/559, 26.8%) had a history of previous DSH. Suicidal intent was usually low. The most frequent problems were difficulties in relationships with family members (77.3%) and with friends (38.9%), and school/study problems (37.9%). The long-term risk of suicide was low, 1.1% (N = 5) having died by probable suicide after a mean follow-up period of 11 years 2 months.

CONCLUSIONS

DSH in children and young adolescents is usually related to life problems, is generally of low suicidal intent, and is associated with a relatively low long-term risk of suicide.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Centre for Suicide Research, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, UK. keith.hawton@psych.ox.ac.ukNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

18081755

Citation

Hawton, Keith, and Louise Harriss. "Deliberate Self-harm By Under-15-year-olds: Characteristics, Trends and Outcome." Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines, vol. 49, no. 4, 2008, pp. 441-8.
Hawton K, Harriss L. Deliberate self-harm by under-15-year-olds: characteristics, trends and outcome. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2008;49(4):441-8.
Hawton, K., & Harriss, L. (2008). Deliberate self-harm by under-15-year-olds: characteristics, trends and outcome. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines, 49(4), pp. 441-8.
Hawton K, Harriss L. Deliberate Self-harm By Under-15-year-olds: Characteristics, Trends and Outcome. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2008;49(4):441-8. PubMed PMID: 18081755.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Deliberate self-harm by under-15-year-olds: characteristics, trends and outcome. AU - Hawton,Keith, AU - Harriss,Louise, Y1 - 2007/12/11/ PY - 2007/12/18/pubmed PY - 2008/4/15/medline PY - 2007/12/18/entrez SP - 441 EP - 8 JF - Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines JO - J Child Psychol Psychiatry VL - 49 IS - 4 N2 - BACKGROUND: Relatively little information is available about the characteristics and long-term outcome of children and adolescents aged under 15 years who present to general hospitals because of deliberate self-harm (DSH). METHOD: Information was collected on 710 consecutive under-15-year-olds presenting to a general hospital in central England with DSH over a 26-year period (1978-2003). Outcome in terms of death was investigated from national statistics in 464 cases presenting during the first 20 years of the study. RESULTS: Most individuals were aged 12-14 years. In this age group the female:male ratio was 6.5:1. Nearly all (680/710, 95.8%) had taken overdoses, over half of these episodes involving paracetamol (acetaminophen). Few had a history of prior (7.7%) or current psychiatric treatment (7.7%), although a quarter (150/559, 26.8%) had a history of previous DSH. Suicidal intent was usually low. The most frequent problems were difficulties in relationships with family members (77.3%) and with friends (38.9%), and school/study problems (37.9%). The long-term risk of suicide was low, 1.1% (N = 5) having died by probable suicide after a mean follow-up period of 11 years 2 months. CONCLUSIONS: DSH in children and young adolescents is usually related to life problems, is generally of low suicidal intent, and is associated with a relatively low long-term risk of suicide. SN - 1469-7610 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/18081755/Deliberate_self_harm_by_under_15_year_olds:_characteristics_trends_and_outcome_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2007.01852.x DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -