A Study of the Prevalence and Risk Factors for Self-harming Behaviors among High School Students in Northern Taiwan
劉惠青(Hui-Ching Liu)；劉珣瑛(Shen-Ing Liu)；黃郁心(Yu-Hsin Huang)；鍾嫈嫈(Jin-Jin Tjung)；方俊凱(Chun-Kai Fang)
suicide ； deliberate self-harm ； adolescent
|Volume or Term/Year and Month of Publication||
21卷1期（2011 / 03 / 01）
27 - 39
Objective: Deliberate self-harm (DSH) by adolescents increases the risk for future suicide. This study investigated the prevalence and risk factors for DSH in adolescents attending high school in northern Taiwan.Method: A cross-sectional survey was carried out in 13 secondary schools in Taipei City and Taipei County from October 2008 to January 2009. All questionnaires were self-completed online in the participating schools. Information was collected about basic socio-demographic data, the lifetime prevalence of self-harming behavior including the number of self-harming acts, and the intent for suicide. The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) was used to measure the students' level of depression. The Multi-dimensional support scale (MDSS) was used to measure their social support and the Rosenberg self-esteem scale (RSES) to measure their level of self-esteem.Results: A total of 2,480 students completed the questionnaire. Their mean age was 15.44 (SD 0.61) and the majority was female (n=1494; 60.2%). The lifetime prevalence of DSH among the participants was 24.8% (n=616). The mean number of self-harming acts was 3.9 (SD 3.4) and 22.9% (n=141) had suicidal intent when they harmed themselves. A multivariate logistic regression model showed that the risk factors for DSH among high school students in northern Taiwan were female gender, schools in suburban areas, depression, use of cigarettes and alcohol, and the presence of suicidal ideation and suicide plans.Conclusion: DSH is a significant behavioral problem among adolescents in Taiwan. The presence of depression, suicidal ideation and suicide plans, smoking, and the use of alcohol were important factors in this problem. More attention should be paid to this phenomenon in primary care settings and appropriate referral to child psychiatrists is crucial.