Adolescents' self-mutilation – Relationship with dependent behaviour

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The aim of this study, which was carried out in the French-speacking part of Switzerland, was to examine the relationship between suicide attempts and self-mutilation by adolescents and young adults. The population, aged 14–25 years (N = 308), included a clinical sample of dependent subjects (drug abuse and eating disorders) compared to a control sample. On the basis of the Mini Neuropsychiatric Interview (Sheehan et al., 1998), DSM-IV criteria were used for the inclusion of the clinical population. The results concerning the occurrence of suicide attempts as well as on self-mutilation confirm most of the hypotheses postulated: suicidal attempts and self-mutilation were more common in the clinical group compared to the control group, and there was a correlation between suicide attempts and self-mutilation. However, there was only a partial overlap, attesting that suicide and self-harm might correspond to two different types of behaviour.

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