Year: 2016 Source: Crisis.(2015).36(1):31-37. DOI:10.1027/0227-5910/a000289 SIEC No: 20150539

Adolescent self-harm (SH) is a major public health concern, associated with poor outcomes. The use of ineffective coping is often referred to in explanatory models of adolescent SH. Aims: To assess the relationship between SH and coping strategies in a large sample of school-aged adolescents. Method: A sample of public school students (n = 1,713), aged between 12 and 20 years, were examined using an anonymously completed questionnaire. SH was defined according to strict criteria through a two-stage procedure. Study participants were divided into two groups: no self-harm and lifetime self-harm. The differences between groups were explored, including logistic regression analyses (controlling for anxiety and depression effects), to reveal which coping strategies better predicted lifetime SH. Results: The use of nonproductive strategies was associated with SH in both genders, particularly self-blame and tension reduction. Strategies involving consulting significant others for support were used less in the SH group, especially among male subjects. The preferential use of a productive coping style was negatively associated with the SH group in both genders. Conclusion: The results support previous data regarding a different pattern of coping strategies used by adolescents who harm themselves. The use of self-rating instruments and the cross-sectional nature of the study limit our results.