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Self-, other-, and dual-harm during adolescence: a prospective-longitudinal study of childhood risk factors and early adult correlates


Steinhoff, Annekatrin; Bechtiger, Laura; Ribeaud, Denis; Eisner, Manuel; Shanahan, Lilly (2023). Self-, other-, and dual-harm during adolescence: a prospective-longitudinal study of childhood risk factors and early adult correlates. Psychological Medicine, 53(9):3995-4003.

Abstract

Background

Little is known about the childhood antecedents and adult correlates of adolescent dual-harm (i.e. co-occurring self- and other-harm). We examine the longitudinal associations between (a) social and psychological risk factors in childhood and adolescent dual-harm and (b) adolescent dual-harm and social and mental health impairments in early adulthood.
Methods

Participants (N = 1482) are from a prospective longitudinal community-representative study. Dual-, self-, and other-harm were self-reported at ages 13, 15, and 17. Social and psychological risk factors in childhood were assessed between 7 and 11; early adult correlates at age 20. Groups with dual-harm, self-harm only, other-harm only, and no harm were compared.
Results

Between 13 and 17, 7.2% of adolescents reported dual-harm (self-harm only: 16.2%; other-harm only: 13.3%). Some childhood risk factors (e.g. sensation-seeking, parental divorce, victimization by peers) characterized all harm groups; others were common to the dual- and self-harm (anxiety/depressive symptoms, relational aggression) or dual- and other-harm groups only (low self-control, substance use, delinquency). Adolescents with dual-harm had reported more physical aggression and harsh parenting, and lower school bonding in childhood than any other group. In early adulthood, they reported more anxiety/depressive symptoms, psychopathy symptoms, homicidal ideations, delinquency, and victimization experiences than any other group.
Conclusions

Adolescent dual-harm follows psychological problems and social disconnection in childhood and signals risk of psychopathology and isolation in early adulthood. To curb the burden from dual-harm, interventions must target adolescents, families, peer networks, and school environments. Differentiating youth with dual-harm from those with single-harm is important for developing personalized treatments.

Abstract

Background

Little is known about the childhood antecedents and adult correlates of adolescent dual-harm (i.e. co-occurring self- and other-harm). We examine the longitudinal associations between (a) social and psychological risk factors in childhood and adolescent dual-harm and (b) adolescent dual-harm and social and mental health impairments in early adulthood.
Methods

Participants (N = 1482) are from a prospective longitudinal community-representative study. Dual-, self-, and other-harm were self-reported at ages 13, 15, and 17. Social and psychological risk factors in childhood were assessed between 7 and 11; early adult correlates at age 20. Groups with dual-harm, self-harm only, other-harm only, and no harm were compared.
Results

Between 13 and 17, 7.2% of adolescents reported dual-harm (self-harm only: 16.2%; other-harm only: 13.3%). Some childhood risk factors (e.g. sensation-seeking, parental divorce, victimization by peers) characterized all harm groups; others were common to the dual- and self-harm (anxiety/depressive symptoms, relational aggression) or dual- and other-harm groups only (low self-control, substance use, delinquency). Adolescents with dual-harm had reported more physical aggression and harsh parenting, and lower school bonding in childhood than any other group. In early adulthood, they reported more anxiety/depressive symptoms, psychopathy symptoms, homicidal ideations, delinquency, and victimization experiences than any other group.
Conclusions

Adolescent dual-harm follows psychological problems and social disconnection in childhood and signals risk of psychopathology and isolation in early adulthood. To curb the burden from dual-harm, interventions must target adolescents, families, peer networks, and school environments. Differentiating youth with dual-harm from those with single-harm is important for developing personalized treatments.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Sociology
06 Faculty of Arts > Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development
Dewey Decimal Classification:370 Education
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Applied Psychology
Health Sciences > Psychiatry and Mental Health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Psychiatry and Mental health, Applied Psychology
Language:English
Date:1 July 2023
Deposited On:19 Oct 2022 06:42
Last Modified:28 Mar 2024 02:39
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:0033-2917
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291722000666
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID10FI14_170409
  • : Project TitleThe Zurich Project on the Social Development from Childhood to Adulthood: Phase V
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)