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Research Letter
December 30, 2019

Prevalence of and Factors Associated With Self-injurious Thoughts and Behaviors in a Nationally Representative Sample of Preadolescent Children in Great Britain

Author Affiliations
  • 1Alpert Medical School, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
JAMA Pediatr. 2020;174(2):202-204. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.5048

Self-injurious thoughts and behaviors in childhood have received increasing recognition as an important clinical concern. Self-injurious thoughts and behaviors in childhood have been reported to be associated with concurrent psychiatric impairment, particularly externalizing disorders,1 and to be predictors associated with negative outcomes, including subsequent self-injurious thoughts and behaviors1 and psychiatric hospitalization.2 Furthermore, the National Institute of Mental Health has identified childhood suicide as a priority; compared with studies of self-injurious thoughts and behaviors in adolescents and adults, there to date is a paucity of research on that topic with children.3 Several fundamental aspects of childhood self-injurious thoughts and behaviors remain unknown, including their epidemiologic characteristics, with prior studies examining at-risk or clinical populations.1,2 The current study characterizes the prevalence of self-injurious thoughts and behaviors in a nationally representative sample of preadolescent individuals in Great Britain.

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