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Title: A 6-year longitudinal study of self-harm and suicidal behaviors among Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong
Authors: Law, BM
Shek, DT 
Keywords: Chinese adolescents
Developmental trajectory
Family functioning
Positive youth development
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Elsevier
Source: Journal of pediatric and adolescent gynecology, 2016, v. 29, no. 1, p. S38-S48 How to cite?
Journal: Journal of pediatric and adolescent gynecology 
Abstract: STUDY OBJECTIVE: To examine the trajectories of self-harm and suicidal behaviors among Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong and to investigate the related predictors, including gender, family nonintactness, economic disadvantage, positive youth development, and family functioning.
DESIGN: We used quantitative data from a large sample of adolescent participants. Participants initially joined this study when they were in grade 7 (wave 1), and they were followed from grade 8 (wave 2) to grade 12 (wave 6).SETTING, PARTICIPANTS, AND INTERVENTIONS: The participants consisted of 2023 grade 12 students from 28 secondary schools in Hong Kong. A multistage cluster random sampling method was adopted.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Self-harm and suicidal behaviors.
RESULTS: The trajectories of self-harm and suicidal behaviors in general declined from grade 7 to grade 12. Regarding the effect of gender, whereas adolescent girls showed a higher prevalence for self-harm and suicidal behaviors at baseline and other waves, adolescent boys showed a pronounced decline in self-harm rates. Adolescents from nonintact families were more likely to self-harm or engage in suicidal behaviors at wave 6. Economic disadvantage at wave 4 predicted higher suicidal behavior among adolescents but not self-harm at wave 6. Regarding positive youth development, several protective factors that include cognitive-behavioral competencies, prosocial attributes, general positive youth development qualities, and positive identity could help reduce self-harm and suicidal behaviors at different time points. Regarding the role of family functioning, more family conflicts predicted higher suicidality in adolescence (self-harm and suicidal behaviors), and family communication affected self-harming behaviors at wave 6.
CONCLUSION: The trajectories of self-harm and suicidal behaviors decline from early to late adolescence among Chinese adolescents. Positive youth development and constructive family functioning are critical to help reduce suicidal behaviors. Regarding increased risk, more attention should be paid to adolescent girls and adolescents from nonintact and economic disadvantaged families.
ISSN: 1083-3188
EISSN: 1873-4332
DOI: 10.1016/j.jpag.2015.10.007
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