Adolescents who deliberately harm themselves are at risk for suicide. Hawton et al identified risk factors for self-harm in English adolescents. The authors are from Warneford Hospital and the Institute for Health Sciences in Oxford, England.


Patient selection: adolescents (students ages 15 and 16)


Major risk factors for deliberate self-harm:

(1) female gender

(2) self harm or suicide in friends

(3) self-harm or suicide in family members

(4) drug or alcohol misuse

(5) low self-esteem


Additional risk factors seen in females:

(6) anxiety and/or depression

(7) impulsivity


Associations that may help identify a person to screen for risk:

(1) trouble at home (parental divorce, etc)

(2) in trouble with police

(3) cigarette smoking

(4) alcohol use

(5) bullying

(6) physical and/or sexual abuse

(7) worries about sexual orientation


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