The Main Predictors of Adolescent Self-Injurious Behaviors from the Perspective of Foster Care Parents
Jackson de Carvalho, PhD; Felix O. Chima, PhD

This quasi-experimental research study investigated relationships between mental health issues, substance abuse and self-injurious behaviors in a sample of foster care adolescents with an age range of 03–17 (n = 92) in Texas. The study tested the suitability of the DSM-5 Self-Rated Level 1 Cross-Cutting Symptom Measure as a useful tool to enhance clinical decision-making. Logistic regression analysis and multivariate models constructed separately were employed. Nearly all mental health issues related variables were significantly related to self-injurious behaviors. No significant associations were established for substance abuse and self-injurious behaviors. Two variables, however, emerged with highest structure coefficient and as main predictors of self-injurious behaviors. Results have implications for mental health services and self-injurious prevention programs for adolescents. Measures of emotional mental health issues, drug abuse and self-injurious behaviors as a part of adolescent mental health assessments might be useful for field work, intervention, and program evaluation efforts.

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