Development and validation of the self-harm reasons questionnaire

Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2008 Feb;38(1):104-15. doi: 10.1521/suli.2008.38.1.104.


Understanding the reasons for self-harm (SH) may be paramount for the identification and treatment of SH behavior. Presently, the psychometric properties for SH reason questionnaires are generally unknown or tested only in non-inpatient samples. Existing inpatient measures may have limited generalizability and do not examine SH apart from an explicit intent to die. The present study examined a newly developed, self-report measure of reason for self-harm. The Self-Harm Reasons Questionnaire (SHRQ) was administered to 143 undergraduate students. Results indicated that SH reasons covaried in meaningful and internally consistent ways, with subgroups of SH reasons correlating with hypothesized concomitants of SH, such as depressive symptoms. Findings have implications for prevention and intervention and the SHRQ offers a new, albeit preliminary, means by which to examine SH reasons in a non-inpatient sample.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Ontario
  • Psychometrics / instrumentation
  • Risk Factors
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / etiology*
  • Students / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*
  • Universities