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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Suicide attempts and non-suicidal self-harm: national prevalence study of young adults
Author(s): O'Connor, Rory C
Wetherall, Karen
Cleare, Seonaid
Eschle, Sarah
Drummond, Julie
Ferguson, Eamonn
O'Connor, Daryl B
O'Carroll, Ronan E
Issue Date: 31-May-2018
Citation: O'Connor RC, Wetherall K, Cleare S, Eschle S, Drummond J, Ferguson E, O'Connor DB & O'Carroll RE (2018) Suicide attempts and non-suicidal self-harm: national prevalence study of young adults, BJPsych Open, 4 (3), pp. 142-148.
Abstract: Background There are few prevalence studies of suicide attempts and non-suicidal self-harm (NSSH). Aims We aimed to estimate the prevalence of thoughts of NSSH, suicidal thoughts, NSSH and suicide attempts among 18- to 34-year-olds in Scotland. Method We interviewed a representative sample of young adults from across Scotland. Results We interviewed 3508 young people; 11.3 and 16.2% reported a lifetime history of suicide attempts and NSSH, respectively. The first episode of NSSH tended to precede the first suicide attempt by about 2 years. Age at onset of NSSH and suicide attempt was younger in females. Earlier age at onset was associated with more frequent NSSH/suicide attempts. Women are significantly more likely to report NSSH and suicide attempts compared with men. Conclusions One in nine young people has attempted suicide and one in six has engaged in NSSH. Clinicians should be vigilant, as suicide attempts and NSSH are relatively common.
DOI Link: 10.1192/bjo.2018.14
Rights: COPYRIGHT: © The Royal College of Psychiatrists 2018 This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.

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