Self-injury in Australia

The prevalence of self-injury in Australia is substantial and self-injury may begin at older ages than previously reported, according to an article in the Medical Journal of Australia.

Graham Martin, Professor and Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Queensland, and co-authors conducted a cross-sectional study to gain an accurate understanding of self-injury and its correlates in the Australian population. A sample of 12,006 Australians, from randomly selected households, participated in the study.

In the four weeks before the survey, 1.1 per cent of the sample self-injured. Six-month prevalence was 1.8 per cent. Lifetime prevalence was 8.1 per cent. For females, self-injury peaked between 15 and 24 years of age. For males, it peaked between 10 and 19 years of age. The average age of onset was 17 years, but the oldest was 44 for males and 60 for females.

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