Deliberate self-harm in adolescents: a study of characteristics and trends in Oxford, 1990-2000

K Hawton, Stephanie Jane Hall, S Simkin, E Bale, A Bond, S Codd, A Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

179 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Deliberate self-harm (DSH) is a major healthcare problem in adolescents. Identification of targets for prevention and treatment requires ongoing monitoring of trends and characteristics of those involved.

METHOD: Using data from the Oxford Monitoring System for Attempted Suicide, we have examined trends and characteristics in adolescents aged 12-18 years presenting to a general hospital because of DSH between 1990 and 2000.

RESULTS: The numbers of presentations by females increased during the study period. An association of DSH with school stress was suggested by there being fewer presentations during the school holiday periods, the largest number in term times occurring on Mondays, and study problems being common. Self-poisoning was involved in more than 90% of episodes. Paracetamol overdoses decreased following legislation on pack sizes of analgesics. Antidepressant overdoses increased during the study period, in keeping with the rise in prescriptions. Drug misuse increased markedly in the boys, as did a history of violence to others. Being a victim of violence increased in girls. Suicide intent was higher in males. Problems faced by the adolescents showed marked gender differences, and differed between age groups and between those carrying out their first DSH episode and repeaters.

CONCLUSIONS: Clinical management of DSH in adolescents requires a range of responses, often involving multiservice and multidisciplinary input. Preventive initiatives in schools are also required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1191-1198
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Volume4
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003

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Self-Injurious Behavior
Violence
Attempted Suicide
Holidays
Acetaminophen
Legislation
General Hospitals
Poisoning
Suicide
Antidepressive Agents
Prescriptions
Analgesics
Age Groups
Delivery of Health Care
Pharmaceutical Preparations

Cite this

Hawton, K., Hall, S. J., Simkin, S., Bale, E., Bond, A., Codd, S., & Stewart, A. (2003). Deliberate self-harm in adolescents: a study of characteristics and trends in Oxford, 1990-2000. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 4(8), 1191-1198.

Deliberate self-harm in adolescents : a study of characteristics and trends in Oxford, 1990-2000. / Hawton, K; Hall, Stephanie Jane; Simkin, S; Bale, E; Bond, A; Codd, S; Stewart, A.

In: Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Vol. 4, No. 8, 11.2003, p. 1191-1198.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hawton, K, Hall, SJ, Simkin, S, Bale, E, Bond, A, Codd, S & Stewart, A 2003, 'Deliberate self-harm in adolescents: a study of characteristics and trends in Oxford, 1990-2000', Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, vol. 4, no. 8, pp. 1191-1198.
Hawton, K ; Hall, Stephanie Jane ; Simkin, S ; Bale, E ; Bond, A ; Codd, S ; Stewart, A. / Deliberate self-harm in adolescents : a study of characteristics and trends in Oxford, 1990-2000. In: Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 2003 ; Vol. 4, No. 8. pp. 1191-1198.
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