Adverse childhood experiences and hospital-treated self-harm

Cleare, S. , Wetherall, K., Clark, A., Ryan, C., Kirtley, O., Smith, M. and O'Connor, R. (2018) Adverse childhood experiences and hospital-treated self-harm. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(6), 1235. (doi:10.3390/ijerph15061235)

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Abstract

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have been implicated in a range of negative health outcomes in adulthood, including increased suicide mortality. In this study, we explored the relationship between ACEs and hospital-treated self-harm. Specifically, we investigated whether those who had a history of repeat self-harm reported more ACEs than those who had self-harmed for the first time. Patients (n = 189) admitted to two hospitals in Glasgow (UK) following first-time (n = 41) or repeated (n = 148) self-harm completed psychosocial measures. Univariate analyses revealed that those presenting with repeat self-harm reported higher depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, intent to die, and ACEs, and lower dependent attachment style. However, only ACEs, along with female gender and depressive symptoms, significantly differentiated between the repeat self-harm group and the first-time self-harm group in the multivariate model. Controlling for all other psychosocial variables, participants who reported 4+ ACEs were significantly more likely to be in the repeat self-harm group as compared to those who experienced 0–3 ACEs. This finding highlights the pernicious effect of exposure to multiple ACEs. Further research is urgently required to better understand the mechanisms that explain this relationship. Clinicians should be aware of the extent of the association between ACEs and repeat self-harm.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The study was funded by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Mental Health and Sexual Health Partnerships and NHS Health Scotland.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ryan, Dr Caoimhe and Wetherall, Miss Karen and O'Connor, Professor Rory and Clark, Miss Andrea and Kirtley, Dr Olivia and Smith, Dr Michael and Cleare, Miss Seonaid
Authors: Cleare, S., Wetherall, K., Clark, A., Ryan, C., Kirtley, O., Smith, M., and O'Connor, R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Health Economics and Health Technology Assessment
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publisher:MDPI
ISSN:1661-7827
ISSN (Online):1660-4601
Published Online:11 June 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 15(6): 1235
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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