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Abstract

In this study, we surveyed 113 women psychiatric inpatients with regard to histories of intimate-partner violence and six self-harm behaviours related to the intentional damage of one's body (e.g., cutting, hitting, scratching self). Multiple regression analysis revealed that a history of domestic violence was a statistically significant predictor of bodily self-harm even after controlling for age and having ever been married. Among some victims of domestic violence, this statistical relationship may indicate an underlying common psychodynamic theme such as a high threshold for body maltreatment and/or low body esteem. Regardless, these data suggest that mental health clinicians need to explore among women victims of intimate-partner violence the presence of self-initiated bodily self-harm. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.