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Why do people self-harm?

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>02/2003
<mark>Journal</mark>Psychology, Health and Medicine
Issue number1
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)72-79
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The accuracy of perceptions about self-harm that are presented in the psychological and psychiatric literature was assessed with a sample of self-harmers. A list of 20 statements containing ten myths and ten accurate statements about self-harm behaviour was incorporated into an internet-based questionnaire. Respondents (n = 243) rated their extent of agreement with each statement. Factor analysis confirmed the a priori classification of statements as being accurate. Only one item, regarding the relationship of self-harm to previous sexual abuse, did not confirm a priori classification; this statement was considered by self-harmers to be an accurate perception of self-harm. It was concluded that this questionnaire could be a useful aid for group-work training with professionals who are involved in working with people who engage in self-harm.