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Self-Injury Among Early Adolescents
American Journal of Health Education (2010)
  • Moya L. Alfonso, Georgia Southern University
  • Robert F. Dedrick
Background: Whereas much attention has been focused on adolescent risk behaviors such as substance use, much less has been devoted to self-injury in the general adolescent population. Purpose: This study had two purposes: (1) describe the prevalence of self-injury among early adolescents in the general middle school population, and (2) identify behaviors that are comorbid with self-injury. Methods: This study involved a secondary analysis of data gathered from 1,734 6th and 8th grade students using the middle school Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Results: The prevalence of self-injury among middle school youth in this study (N=1734) was 28.4%. Although the relationship between having ever tried self-injury and gender was significant, the effect size was small. Multilevel logistic regression identified six variables that were significantly related to (P < 0.01) having ever tried self-injury: peer self-injury, having ever tried inhalants, grade level, and belief in possibilities, abnormal eating behaviors and suicide. Discussion: This is the first study to empirically examine self-injury in relation to multiple risk behaviors within a community sample of early adolescents with the goal of informing school-based prevention efforts. Translation to Health Education Practice: School personnel can be observant for evidence of self-injury as well as other risk behaviors and be vigilant about experiences that may be contributing to their development.
  • Adolescent,
  • Risk behavior,
  • Substance use,
  • Self-injury
Publication Date
Citation Information
Moya L. Alfonso and Robert F. Dedrick. "Self-Injury Among Early Adolescents" American Journal of Health Education Vol. 41 Iss. 2 (2010)
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