Psychological Resilience Mediates the Association Between Childhood Maltreatment and Self-Harm Phenotype in Chinese Early Adolescents

Child Psychiatry Hum Dev. 2022 Nov 29. doi: 10.1007/s10578-022-01471-z. Online ahead of print.


Self-harm (SH) increases significantly in early adolescence with great variability, and childhood maltreatment (CM) contributes to this increase. Understanding the developmental pathway from CM to SH could provide clues for SH prevention. This study used latent class analysis (LCA) to detect the phenotype of SH and explored the role of psychological resilience in the pathway from the CM to SH phenotype among 5724 early adolescents (52.5% male). Three interpretable phenotypes of SH were identified: low SH (57.8%), medium SH (29.0%), and high SH (13.2%). Furthermore, CM was positively associated with the SH phenotype, psychological resilience mediated the association between CM and the SH phenotype (all ps < 0.001), and a larger mediating effect was observed in the medium SH (22.41%). Our findings offer new perspectives that improving psychological resilience can be used as an efficient intervention to reduce the risk of SH among early adolescents who have experienced CM.

Keywords: Childhood maltreatment; Latent class analysis; Mediating effect; Psychological resilience; Self-harm.