Online Program

Predicting the frequency of adolescent self injury

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Moya Alfonso, MSPH, PhD, Jiann Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA
Background/Purpose: A substantial proportion of youth lacking in support or adaptive coping skills may be at risk for trying self-injury. The purpose of this study was to identify predictors of the frequency of self-injury among 1748 sixth and eighth graders using the middle school Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS). Methods: Secondary data analysis using multilevel modeling using HLM.6 was used to identify statistically significant predictors of the frequency of self-injury. Results/Outcomes: Among youth who self-reported having ever tried self-injury (N=495; 28%), 35% had harmed themselves once and 35% had harmed themselves more than once during the past month. Those who self-injured once (compared to never) were more likely to demonstrate abnormal eating behaviors (OR = 3.69, 95% CI 1.70, 8.05), exposure to peer self-injury (OR = 1.72, 95% CI = 1.21, 2.44), and higher level of suicidal tendencies (OR = 1.63, 95% CI = 1.33, 2.01). Those who had self-injured more than once (compared to never) were more likely to demonstrate higher levels of suicidal tendencies (OR = 2.84, 95% CI 2.27, 3.55), inhalant use (OR = 2.52, 95% CI = 1.47, 4.31), and lower levels of belief in their possibilities (OR = 0.61, 95% CI = 0.42, 0.88). Finally, those who self-injured more than once (compared to once) demonstrated higher levels of suicidal tendencies (OR = 1.74, 95% CI 1.37, 2.21). Conclusions: Overall, results suggested the presence of multiple predictors of the frequency of self-injury, which leads us to greater understanding of those factors to target for prevention.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the nature of adolescent self-injury. Name the dynamic of predictors of the frequency of adolescent self-injury. Describe hierarchical linear regression.

Keyword(s): Child/Adolescent Mental Health, Injury Risk

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Because I designed the study, conducted the research, and prepared the manuscript and abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.