Prevalence of deliberate self-harm in teenage students in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico: 2003
Catalina González-Forteza, Margarita Alvarez-Ruiz, Andrés Saldaña-Hernández, and Silvia Carreño-García, (Ramón De La Fuente Muñiz, National Institute of Psychiatry, Mexico); Ana-María Chávez-Hernández and Rosaura Pérez-Hernández, (University of Guanajuato, Mexico), 2005, 33(8), 777–792

Two things sparked my interest in this article, which addresses the deliberate self-harm of adolescents in Guanajuato State, Mexico. First, thinking of my new country of residence, I was interested to investigate research that we have published from Mexico. As publishers of an international journal, it is a privilege we have to access work from almost any country in the world. On this occasion, the subject matter drew me in, as it is highly relevant to my other home – New Zealand. New Zealand has one of the highest rates of youth suicide in the OECD and public discussion abounds about what can be done to address this serious problem. Studies such as this can help identify the triggers and motives of adolescent deliberate self-harm (DSH) and parasuicidal behaviors. In the research of González-Forteza et al., the authors investigated the prevalence of and reasons for self-harm in adolescents in one Mexican state. They found that the highest levels of DSH were in more urbanized areas; motives were most often associated with emotions or interpersonal relations; and acts of self-harm were significantly related to feelings of loneliness and vulnerability. The authors encourage continued monitoring of DSH behaviors among teenagers; more research into the problem can potentially lead to greater understanding and effective prevention strategies.

Alex Cheyne | Managing Editor
Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal