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Self-harming Behaviors Study of Adolescents in a Juvenile Detention House

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
Far Eastern Memorial Hospital Identifier:
First received: May 24, 2010
Last updated: January 9, 2013
Last verified: January 2013

Incarcerated adolescents engage in suicide ideation, self-harming behaviors and have poor coping abilities, suggesting a need for mental health intervention and treatment. Previous research on self-harm among community adolescents revealed that self-harmers were more likely than non-self-harmers to report suicidal ideation, and having made a suicide plan.

This study plans to evaluate the suicidal intent of self-harming and non-self harming adolescent admitted at juvenile detention house in Taiwan. Furthermore, this study also plans to identify the prevalence and types of self-harming activities of incarcerated youths. Another purpose is to investigate the coping abilities of incarcerated youth, with evaluation of efficacy of short problem-solving skills therapy intervention by trained psychologists of three sessions for adolescents with poor coping adjustment; referral to adolescent psychiatrist when severe mental disorder or poor coping abilities were found.

By analyzing their suicidal ideation, self-harming behaviors, and coping adjustment, the investigators will be able to give timely intervention and identify effective means and methods for better serving this population. This study hopes to help the incarcerated youth to replace their self-destructive behaviors with effective coping adjustment abilities.

Condition Intervention
Adolescent Behavior Harm Reduction Behavioral: psychotherapy

Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Observational Model: Cohort
Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional
Official Title: Study on Self-harming Behaviors of Adolescents in a Juvenile Detention House

Further study details as provided by Far Eastern Memorial Hospital:

Enrollment: 277
Study Start Date: January 2010
Study Completion Date: December 2010
Primary Completion Date: December 2010 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Groups/Cohorts Assigned Interventions
self-harming group Behavioral: psychotherapy
short problem-solving skills therapy intervention
non-self-harming group -control group

Detailed Description:

Suicide among youth ranked third in Taiwan. According to a study by Lin, stressors include family, school and friends. Psychiatric symptoms also played a role (Lin, 2002) . Incarcerated adolescents with poor coping adjustment will be referred to psychologists. The psychologists were trained by the juvenile detention adolescent psychiatrist.

Taiwanese adolescents have very high rate of self-harming activities, furthermore, incarcerated adolescents are expected to have a higher rate of self-harming activities. There are few studies done on self-harming activities, suicidal intent and coping style of incarcerated youth in Taiwan. According to a study on self-harming adolescents in a juvenile correctional facility, these youth have higher rates of suicide attempts and use more violent methods of attempt than adolescents in the general population (Penn, 2003). They also have poor problem-solving skills. We hope to study their suicidal ideations, self-harming behaviors, and coping styles in order to offer appropriate and timely intervention. We can then offer skills to deal with similar triggering events in the future.

Furthermore, it is hoped that recidivism can be reduced after psychopathological intervention.


Ages Eligible for Study:   11 Years to 19 Years   (Child, Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population
Youth admitted at juvenile detention center in Taiwan

Inclusion Criteria:

  • youth admitted at juvenile detention center on Jan 1,2010 up to Dec 31,2010

Exclusion Criteria:

  • currently emotionally unstable, are suffering from active psychotic process like schizophrenia, mentally retarded, illiterate or refuse to participate.
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01130441

Juvenile Detention Center Taipei
Taipei, Taipei Hsian, Taiwan
Sponsors and Collaborators
Far Eastern Memorial Hospital
Principal Investigator: Mei Hua Tsai, M.D. Far Eastern Memorial Hospital
  More Information

Responsible Party: Mei Hua Tsai M.D., Far Eastern Memorial Hospital Identifier: NCT01130441     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 098047-3
Study First Received: May 24, 2010
Last Updated: January 9, 2013

Keywords provided by Far Eastern Memorial Hospital:
adolescent behavior
harm reduction processed this record on August 16, 2017