Year: 2024 Source: Family & Community Health, (2024), 47(3), 202-208. DOI: 10.1097/FCH.0000000000000408 SIEC No: 20240848
Background and objectives: The purpose of this research is to investigate associations between police contact, non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), and suicidal ideation (SI) among a national sample of Canadian adolescents and young adults (ages 16-30). Methods: Data used in this study were obtained from the Canadian Study of Adolescent Health Behaviors (N = 940), a national survey of Canadians ages 16-30. Results: Police contact was associated with higher odds of NSSI (OR = 1.98, 95% CI = 1.37, 2.86). Those who reported police contact with intrusion (OR = 2.39, 95% CI = 1.49, 3.38) and police contact with harassment (OR = 3.98, 95% CI = 2.30, 6.88) had higher odds of NSSI relative to respondents with no contact. Finally, any police contact was associated with higher odds of SI (OR = 1.56, 95% CI = 1.04, 2.34) and respondents experiencing police stops with harassment had higher odds of SI compared to those who had never been stopped (OR = 2.48, 95% CI = 1.45, 4.24). Conclusions: Distressing police contact heightens the risk of NSSI and SI among young people. Rigorous evaluation of trauma-informed, developmentally appropriate strategies for identifying and intervening on NSSI and SI following adverse police encounters should be prioritized.