Year: 2018 Source: Archives of Women's Mental Health. (2018). doi: 10.1007/s00737-018-0861-y. SIEC No: 20180481

Menstrual problems and non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) are common in adolescent girls. This study examined whether onset of menstruation and menstrual problems were related to NSSI in Chinese female adolescents. A total of 5696 adolescent girls participated in the baseline survey of Shandong Adolescent Behavior and Health Cohort (SABHC) study in Shandong, China. A structured questionnaire was used to ask about participants’ lifetime and last-year NSSI, age at menarche, menstrual cycle interval, menstrual flow length, menstrual irregularity, period pain, body weight and height, and demographics. Impulsivity was assessed by the Eysenck I7 impulsiveness scale. Internalizing and externalizing problems were measured by the Youth Self-Report of Child Behavior Checklist. The mean age of the sample was 15.0 years (SD = 1.4). The prevalence of lifetime and last year NSSI were 28.1% and 21.4% in Chinese adolescent girls. After adjusting for adolescent and family covariates (age, body mass index, impulsivity, internalizing and externalizing problems, paternal education, and family economic status), onset of menstruation was significantly associated with increased risk of lifetime NSSI (OR = 1.62, 95%CI = 1.20-2.20) and last year NSSI (OR = 1.92, 95%CI = 1.37-2.67). Among adolescent girls who had menarche, often irregular menstruation and period pain were significantly and independently associated with lifetime NSSI (OR = 1.36, 95%CI = 1.03-1.79; OR = 1.29, 95%CI = 1.05-1.58) and last year NSSI (OR = 1.46, 95%CI = 1.07-1.98; OR = 1.29, 95%CI = 1.03-1.61). Our findings suggest that onset of menarche, irregular periods, and period pain appear to be associated with increased risk of NSSI. These findings highlight the importance of menstruation hygiene education and treatment of menstrual problems to reduce the risk of NSSI among adolescent girls.