Prevention Science

, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp 850–859 | Cite as

Predictors of Onset for Non-suicidal Self-injury Within a School-Based Sample of Adolescents

  • Tori AndrewsEmail author
  • Graham Martin
  • Penelope Hasking
  • Andrew Page


This paper reports on a prospective study exploring risk factors specifically related to the onset of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) during adolescence. We examined cumulative incidence and predictors of onset of NSSI over 1 year among 1,973 school-based adolescents (13–19 years old; M = 14.9, SD = 0.96) from five states in Australia. Data showed cumulative incidence of 3.8 % (95 % CI [3.0–4.7 %]) over 1 year. Multiple socio-demographic and psychosocial factors were assessed using sequential logistic regression models. Onset of NSSI was associated with being female (OR = 3.47, 95 % CI [1.48–8.18]), being born outside of Australia (OR = 3.05, 95 % CI [1.10–8.47]), not identifying as religious or spiritual (OR = 1.80, 95 % CI [1.04–3.10]), increased psychological distress (OR = 1.12, 95 % CI [1.08–1.16]), poor social support from family (OR = 0.89, 95 % CI [0.83–0.95]), poor self-esteem (OR = 0.90, 95 % CI [0.83–0.98]), and poor problem-solving coping (OR = 0.90, 95 % CI [0.82–0.99]). These findings may assist to better identify young people more likely to start self-injuring and also highlight issues to provide a focus for prevention initiatives.


NSSI School-based adolescents Psychosocial risk factors Onset 



This research was supported by the Australian Research Council (PI: Penelope Hasking and Graham Martin). The authors acknowledge the efforts of Sophie Aitken, Emily Berger, Terryn Callaway, Lauren Friend, Cassie Rotolone, Grace Skrzpiec, Alica Tanner, and David Voon for their efforts in data collection and data entry.


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Copyright information

© Society for Prevention Research 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tori Andrews
    • 1
    Email author
  • Graham Martin
    • 1
  • Penelope Hasking
    • 2
  • Andrew Page
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Queensland, Mental Health Center, Royal Brisbane and Women’s HospitalBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.School of Psychology and PsychiatryMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.School of Population HealthUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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