The Depressive Symptoms, Resourcefulness, and Self-Harm Behaviors of Adolescents

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A report published by the World Health Organization indicates that depression typically first manifests during youth. However, adolescents usually lack the capacity for self-help or to seek help proactively from health professionals or other related resources to relieve their emotional distress. Failing to manage depression appropriately places adolescents at risk for self-harm and suicide.


This study explored the correlations among the depressivesymptoms, resourcefulness, and self-harm behaviors of adolescents. In addition, the impact of depressive symptoms and resourcefulness on the self-harm behaviors of adolescents was examined.


A cross-sectional and correlational design was used. One hundred forty secondary school (junior and senior high school) students in southern Taiwan were recruited for data collection using three questionnaires that measured, respectively, their depressivesymptoms, resourcefulness, and self-harm behaviors.


Depressive symptoms and self-harm behaviors correlated significantly and positively (r = .79, p < .001). Resourcefulness correlated significantly and negatively with both depressive symptoms (r = −.35, p < .001) and self-harm behaviors (r = −.29, p < .001). Finally, depressive symptoms significantly predicted self-harm behaviors.

Conclusions/Implications for Practice:

This study provides new findings regarding the significant relationship between resourcefulness and self-harm behaviors in adolescents. Future research is suggested to explore the effect of interventions about resourcefulness training on the mental health of adolescents.

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