Adolescent Psychiatric Inpatients’ Self-Reported Reasons for Cutting Themselves

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To ascertain (1) whether male and female adolescent (13–17 years old) psychiatric inpatients endorse comparable reasons for cutting themselves and (2) whether these reasons are correlated with selected psychosocial characteristics of the adolescents, self-reported depression, and hopelessness, the Self-Injury Motivation Scale II (SIMS-II), the Beck Depression Inventory-II, and the Beck Hopelessness Scale were administered to 19 (38%) male and 31 (62%) female adolescents who had cut themselves. Independent t tests found that none of the SIMS-II subscale scores was differentiated by sex, but the Beck Depression Inventory-II total score was significantly correlated with the SIMS-II total, Affect Modulation, Desolation, and Punitive Duality subscale scores. The results are discussed as indicating that male and female adolescent inpatients endorse comparable reasons for cutting themselves and that self-reported depression is positively associated with the number and intensity of different motivations for cutting oneself.

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