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November 1971

Wrist Cutting: New Epidemiological Findings

Author Affiliations

St. Louis
From the Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis (Dr. Murphy). Dr. Clendenin is in private practice.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1971;25(5):465-469. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1971.01750170081012

From a consecutive series of systematic police reports the characteristics of 65 persons who cut their wrists (wrist cutters) were compared with those of 606 persons who attempted suicide by means other than cutting (noncutters). Wrist cutters were significantly younger, more often single, and more often male (40%) than were noncutters (28%). Male wrist cutters were both younger and less often married than female wrist cutters. Wrist cutters were no more likely than noncutters to make repeated attempts or to confine themselves to a single method. A possible explanation for the literature's bias in reporting women wrist cutters is found in the fact that women attempters were much more likely than men to receive treatment in private, as opposed to public facilities. The clinical picture of wrist cutters is broader in several dimensions than has hitherto been demonstrated.

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