A longitudinal study on deliberate self-harm and suicidal behaviors among Chinese adolescents

B.M.F. Law, Tan Lei Shek

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review

Abstract

This longitudinal study examined deliberate self-harm and suicidal behaviors among adolescents in junior secondary schools in Hong Kong. With specific reference to adolescents in Grade 9, the prevalence of deliberate self-harm behavior was 21.9 %, with preventing wounds from healing, self-scratching, and wrist cutting being the most prevalent self-harm behaviors; the prevalence of self-harm behavior was higher in girls than in boys. The prevalence of suicide attempts was 3.4 %, with girls manifesting more suicidal behaviors than boys. A path model with family functioning (mutuality, communication, and conflicts) at Time 1, positive youth development qualities at Time 2, and self-harm and suicidal behaviors at Time 3 was tested. The following results were obtained: (a) mutuality and communication at Time 1 predicted self-harm and suicidal behaviors at Time 3 via positive youth development at Time 2; (b) mutuality at Time 1 directly predicted self-harm behavior at Time 3; (c) family conflicts at Time 1 directly predicted suicidal behavior at Time 3. The proposed overall model was not entirely gender invariant. Although the paths were gender invariant, family conflicts at Time 1 predicted suicidal behavior at Time 3 for girls but not boys. The theoretical and applied implications of the findings are discussed in this work.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChinese adolescents in Hong Kong : family life, psychological well-being and risk behavior
PublisherSpringer
Pages155-172
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9789812871435, 9812871438
ISBN (Print)9789812871428
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Cite this