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Journal Article


Xin X, Ming Q, Zhang J, Wang Y, Liu M, Yao S. PLoS One 2016; 11(7): e0158609.


Medical Psychological Institute, Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, 410011, China.


(Copyright © 2016, Public Library of Science)






Self-injurious behavior (SIB) among adolescents is an important public health issue worldwide. It is still uncertain whether homogeneous subgroups of SIB can be identified and whether constellations of SIBs can co-occur due to the high heterogeneity of these behaviors. In this study, a cross-sectional study was conducted on a large school-based sample and latent class analysis was performed (n = 10,069, mean age = 15 years) to identify SIB classes based on 11 indicators falling under direct SIB (DSIB), indirect SIB (ISIB), and suicide attempts (SAs). Social and psychological characteristics of each subgroup were examined after controlling for age and gender.

RESULTS showed that a four-class model best fit the data and each class had a distinct pattern of co-occurrence of SIBs and external measures. Class 4 (the baseline/normative group, 65.3%) had a low probability of SIB. Class 3 (severe SIB group, 3.9%) had a high probability of SIB and the poorest social and psychological status. Class 1 (DSIB+SA group, 14.2%) had similar scores for external variables compared to class 3, and included a majority of girls [odds ratio (OR) = 1.94]. Class 2 (ISIB group, 16.6%) displayed moderate endorsement of ISIB items, and had a majority of boys and older adolescents (OR = 1.51). These findings suggest that SIB is a heterogeneous entity, but it may be best explained by four homogenous subgroups that display quantitative and qualitative differences.

FINDINGS in this study will improve our understanding on SIB and may facilitate the prevention and treatment of SIB.

Language: en


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