Two Pathways to Self-Harm in Adolescence

By Stepheni Uh, MPhil, Edwin S. Dalmaijer, DPhil, Roma Siugzdaite, PhD, Tamsin J. Ford, PhD,
Duncan E. Astle, PhD: For Complete Post, Click Here…


The behavioral and emotional profiles underlying adolescent self-harm, and its developmental risk factors, are relatively unknown. We aimed to identify subgroups of young people who self-harm (YPSH) and longitudinal risk factors leading to self-harm.


Our results uncover 2 distinct pathways to self-harm: a “psychopathology” pathway, associated with early and persistent emotional difficulties and bullying; and an “adolescent risky behavior” pathway, whereby risk taking and external challenges emerge later into adolescence and are associated with self-harm. At least 1 of these pathways has a long developmental history, providing an extended window for interventions as well as potential improvements in the identification of children at risk, biopsychosocial causes, and treatment or prevention of self-harm.

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