Year: 2007 Source: Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, v.37, no.4, (August 2007), p.397-408 SIEC No: 20070999

The association between motives for deliberate self-harm (DSH), level of suicide intent, and history of DSH is poorly understood. As part of the WHO/EURO Multicentre Study on Suicidal Behavior, the Suicide Intent Scale, and the Motives for Parasuicide Questionnaire were administered to 146 patients presenting with DSH in the Cork region in Ireland. DSH patients reporting high suicide intent were more motivated to escape from their problem (M = 3.15, p < .001) compared to those with low suicide intent, who were more motivated to appeal to others (M= 1.61, p < .001) and to get a temporary break from their problem (M = 2.47, p < .001). Repeaters more often reported motives aimed at escape (M = 2.98, p < .01), revenge (M = .60, p < .005), and appeal (M = 1.43, p = <.05). Self-harming patients are characterized by ambivalence and struggle with aversive thoughts and situations. Therapeutic approaches should include distress management and coping strategies.