Commentary: Self-harm: a global health priority – reflections on Brunner et al. (2014)
The accompanying cross-sectional study by Brunner et al. (2014) investigates the prevalence and correlates of self-injury in adolescents. It is one of the largest epidemiological studies of its kind published to date. Self-injury by cutting is a strong independent predictor of suicide (Hawton et al., 2012), therefore, understanding the prevalence and psychosocial correlates of this behaviour is of great importance. The article reports several novel and important findings of which the following three are of greatest interest:
- The lifetime prevalence of self‐injury in adolescents is about 28%.
- There is a significant variation in the prevalence and key psychosocial correlates of self‐injury amongst European countries.
- Self‐injury is strongly linked with suicidality, depression, anxiety and poor help‐seeking.