Relationship of intentional self-harm using sharp objects with depressive and dissociative tendencies in pre-adolescence–adolescence



Aims:  The objectives of the present study were to (i) evaluate the prevalence of children and adolescents who have engaged in intentional self-harm using a sharp object; and (ii) investigate the relationship between self-harm with sharp objects and depressive tendencies or dissociative tendencies.

Methods:  A total of 1938 students in grades 5–12 in Yokohama, Japan, were enrolled, and they completed anonymous self-report questionnaires including a question about intentional self-harm with a sharp object, the Depression Self-Rating Scale for Children (DSRSC) and the Adolescent Dissociative Experiences Scale (A-DES).

Results:  The prevalence of self-harm using sharp object was 5.4% among male 5th–6th graders, 4.0% among female 5th–6th graders, 5.3% among male 7th–9th graders, 15.1% among female 7th–9th graders, 6.6% among male 10th–12th graders, and 9.6% among female 10th–12th graders. Categorical regression analysis showed that a small amount of variance in self-harm by sharp object was explained by DSRSC and A-DES scores.

Conclusions:  Self-harm with a sharp object was prevalent among pre-adolescents and adolescents and was associated with depressive and dissociative tendencies.