Predicting deliberate self-harm in adolescents: A six month prospective study

R.C. O'Connor, Susan Rasmussen, Keith Hawton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


Few studies have investigated the extent to which psychosocial/psychological factors are associated with the prediction of deliberate self-harm (DSH) among adolescents. In this study, 737 pupils aged 15-16 years completed a lifestyle and coping survey at time one and 500 were followed up six months later. Six point two percent of the respondents (n = 31) reported an act of DSH between Time 1 and Time 2. In multivariate analyses, worries about sexual orientation, history of sexual abuse, family DSH, anxiety, and self-esteem were associated with repeat DSH during the course of the study, but history of sexual abuse was the only factor predictive of first-time DSH. The findings suggest that school-based programs focused on how young people cope with psychosocial stressors may offer promise.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-375
Number of pages11
JournalSuicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009


  • childhood sexual abuse
  • suicidal behaviors
  • depression scale
  • hospital anxiety
  • revised nomenclature
  • injury


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