Deliberate self-harm by Taiwanese adolescents

Mei Hua Tsai, Yi Hua Chen, Chih Dao Chen, Chih Yin Hsiao, Chia Huei Chien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: Prevalence rates for deliberate self-harm (DSH) are unusually high among Taiwanese high school students. Several models have been advanced to explain the occurrence of DSH. One, the experiential avoidance model suggests that self-mutilation helps the individual escape from unwanted emotional experiences. The purpose of this study was to examine the demographic, health and behavioral correlates of DSH in a population (Taiwanese adolescents) known to have a high rate of DSH. Method: A structured, self-administered questionnaire survey was completed by a sample of 742 vocational high school students in Taiwan. Results: Eighty-four students (11.3%) acknowledged DSH behavior. Results of multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated that female students were 3.47 times as likely as male students to be in the DSH group. Avoidance behaviors of running away from school [odds ratio (OR) = 3.45] and suicide attempt (OR = 13.05), a history of headache (OR = 8.96), a history of sexual abuse (OR = 4.26) and drinking (OR = 4.12) were also significantly associated with DSH. Conclusions: Gender and a history of headaches, a history of sexual abuse, drinking, running away from school, or suicidal attempts were factors associated with DSH among Taiwanese adolescents. School personnel should be aware of these to formulate appropriate and timely interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e223-e226
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


  • Adolescents
  • Avoidance Learning
  • Deliberate self-harm
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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