The incidence of self-harming behaviour in the male population of a medium-secure psychiatric hospital

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This article examines self-harming behaviour in the male population of a medium-secure hospital. Data were taken from the case-files and clinical notes of 88 clients and self-harm was related to a number of background factors. The overall incidence of self-harming behaviour was found to be 45.5%, significantly higher than previously reported for similar male populations. Possible links were found: index offence of non-sexual violence; history of physical or sexual abuse; and diagnosis of mental illness. Overdosing and wrist- or throat-cutting were found to be the most common methods of self-harm. The results are discussed in terms of implications for future intervention and the possibility of generalizing findings from previous research focusing on women's self-harming behaviour.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-68
JournalThe Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Self-harm, Male, Prevalence, secure setting, index offence, abuse