Skip to main content

Open Access Self-Harm Intentions: Can They Be Distinguished Based Upon a History of Childhood Physical and Sexual Abuse? L'intention de s'automutiler : les antécédents de sévices corporels et sexuels constituent–ils un facteur distinctif?

Download Article:
(PDF 168.0537109375 kb)
A non-experimental, comparative design is used to measures self-harm intention in clients with and without a history of childhood physical and sexual abuse (CP/SA) presenting to an emergency department with an episode of self-harm behaviour. The traditional suicide literature identifies the key intention concepts of wish-to-die, lethality, hopelessness, and depression. However, the trauma literature understands self-harm behaviour to be an adaptive response to CP/SA and as such possibly helpful for managing intense affect and dissociation. The findings of this study demonstrate that a CP/SA history is not a distinguishing factor in self-harm intention. Almost all participants, regardless of abuse history, gave multiple reasons for their self-harm behaviour, in addition to or other than the wish-to-die. The striking similarity between the non-abused and abused groups with regard to self-harm intention challenges clinicians to assess for the full range of intentions of people who engage in self-harm and suicidal behaviour.

Nous avons suivi une méthodologie non expérimentale et comparative afin d'examiner l'intention de s'automutiler chez des clients avec et sans antécédents de sévices corporels et sexuels pendant l'enfance, qui se sont présentés à l'urgence après un épisode d'automutilation. La documentation sur le suicide évoque habituellement certains thèmes prédominants comme le désir de mort, la létalité, le désespoir et la dépression. Dans les études sur les traumatismes, toute fois, l'automutilation est présentée comme une réaction adaptative aux sévices subis à un jeune âge, qui permettrait peut-être de maîtriser un affect intense et la dissociation. Selon nos observations, des antécédents de sévices pendant l'enfance ne constituent pas un facteur distinctif relativement à l'intention de s'automutiler. Peu importe leurs antécédents, presque tous les participants ont donné des raisons multiples pour expliquer leur comportement outre le désir de mort. Les ressemblances frappantes relevées entre les deux groupes devraient amener les cliniciens à s'interroger sur l'éventail complet des raisons qui motivent le passage à l'acte en matière d'automutilation et de comportement suicidaire.

41 References.

No Supplementary Data.
No Data/Media
No Metrics


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-12-01

More about this publication?
  • To the CJNR Readership:

    We are excited to report that as of January 2016, the CJNR (Canadian Journal of Nursing Research) is being published under the SAGE Publications, Inc. banner.

    All inquiries relating to future issues of CJNR should be directed to:

    Daniel Ruth
    Senior Acquisitions Editor
    SAGE Publications In
    T (805) 410-7251
    E [email protected]

    Currently published issues of the CJNR (1969-2015) are being moved to the McGill online archives where they will be hosted in perpetuity. This migration should be completed by Spring 2016. During this transition, all issues of CJNR remain accessible to our readers as before:

    1) Past issues of CJNR from 2003 to December 2015 through ingentaconnect.

    2) Issues from 2002 to 1969 can be accessed through the CJNR digital archive.

    We understand that this is a significant change. Please be confident that all parties are working diligently to make this a seamless transition that will further advance the scope and impact of CJNR.

    Thank you.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Archives
  • Overview / Permissions
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more