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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 24-31

Self-injury behavior: manifestations and risk factors in school-aged children in Assuit Governorate

Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Al-Azhar University, Assiut, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Nashwa H Hassan
Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Al-Azhar University, Assiut, Sohag, 25825
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/AZMJ.AZMJ_117_19

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Background Nonsuicidal self-injury is any self-directed behavior that causes immediate destruction of body tissues. This behavior is manifested in a variety of forms, such as cutting, skin carving, burning, severe abrading, scratching and punching, hitting of head or any part of the body, pica, vomits, hair pulling, inserting objects in orifices, pulling fingers or toes or nails, inserting fingers in orifices, extreme eating or drinking, and grinding. The aim of this study was to detect self-injury and risk factors that lead to this behavior among children from 5 to 16 years in the Al-Azhar University Hospital Clinic. Patients and methods This study included 50 cases aged 5–16 years. Another 50 of the matched children regarding age (5–16 years) and sex were included in the study as a control group. Results The most common forms of self-injury in our study were pica (40%), vomiting (12%), burning (4%), loud sounds and shouting (8%), nail eating (26%), head hitting and body hitting (20%), interfering with wound healing and playing with electricity (8%), and some of them had multiple forms of self-injury. Self-injury is related to family history (56%), common in low-educated parents, and fewer incidences of intellectual jobs among parents of the studied group. Conclusion Self-injuries among the pediatric population are underestimated and should be focused especially among children with social, developmental, or intellectual problems. Self-injuries are common among children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, anxiety, conduct disorders, and intellectual disabilities. Low social class and low education of parents are risk factors of self-injury and must be studied to decrease self-injury and suicide. Child abuse is one of the risk factors of self-injury, which should be limited.

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