Self-harming Behaviors Study of Adolescents in a Juvenile Detention House

2014-07-23 21:08:58 | BioPortfolio


Incarcerated adolescents engage in suicide ideation, self-harming behaviors and have poor coping abilities, suggesting a need for mental health intervention and treatment. Previous research on self-harm among community adolescents revealed that self-harmers were more likely than non-self-harmers to report suicidal ideation, and having made a suicide plan.

This study plans to evaluate the suicidal intent of self-harming and non-self harming adolescent admitted at juvenile detention house in Taiwan. Furthermore, this study also plans to identify the prevalence and types of self-harming activities of incarcerated youths. Another purpose is to investigate the coping abilities of incarcerated youth, with evaluation of efficacy of short problem-solving skills therapy intervention by trained psychologists of three sessions for adolescents with poor coping adjustment; referral to adolescent psychiatrist when severe mental disorder or poor coping abilities were found.

By analyzing their suicidal ideation, self-harming behaviors, and coping adjustment, the investigators will be able to give timely intervention and identify effective means and methods for better serving this population. This study hopes to help the incarcerated youth to replace their self-destructive behaviors with effective coping adjustment abilities.


Suicide among youth ranked third in Taiwan. According to a study by Lin, stressors include family, school and friends. Psychiatric symptoms also played a role (Lin, 2002) . Incarcerated adolescents with poor coping adjustment will be referred to psychologists. The psychologists were trained by the juvenile detention adolescent psychiatrist.

Taiwanese adolescents have very high rate of self-harming activities, furthermore, incarcerated adolescents are expected to have a higher rate of self-harming activities. There are few studies done on self-harming activities, suicidal intent and coping style of incarcerated youth in Taiwan. According to a study on self-harming adolescents in a juvenile correctional facility, these youth have higher rates of suicide attempts and use more violent methods of attempt than adolescents in the general population (Penn, 2003). They also have poor problem-solving skills. We hope to study their suicidal ideations, self-harming behaviors, and coping styles in order to offer appropriate and timely intervention. We can then offer skills to deal with similar triggering events in the future.

Furthermore, it is hoped that recidivism can be reduced after psychopathological intervention.

Study Design

Observational Model: Cohort, Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional


Adolescent Behavior




Juvenile Detention Center Taipei
Taipei Hsian




Far Eastern Memorial Hospital

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-07-23T21:08:58-0400

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