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ERIC Number: EJ812908
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9630
Deliberate Self-Harm by under-15-Year-Olds: Characteristics, Trends and Outcome
Hawton, Keith; Harriss, Louise
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, v49 n4 p441-448 Apr 2008
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.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)