Longitudinal Assessment of Self-Harm Statements of Youth in Foster Care: Rates, Reporters, and Related Factors

Joy Gabrielli*, Erin P. Hambrick, Angela M. Tunno, Yo Jackson, Amanda Spangler, Rebecca M. Kanine

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Self-harm in youth is a risk factor related to mental health and future morbidity, yet, relatively little is known about the rates and course of self-harm in youth residing in foster care. This study examined self-harm talk in foster youth based on caregiver and child report for 135 children between the ages of 8- and 11-years old. Longitudinal data on course of self-harm talk from both youth and caregivers also are provided. Caregivers identified that 24 % of youth participants had disclosed a desire to die or to hurt themselves. Youth self-report revealed that 21 % of children indicated a desire for self-harm, and rates of self-harm from both reporters decreased over time. While overall rates were similar across reporters, findings show discrepancies between youth self-report and caregiver report within individuals. Also, caregivers for youth in residential facilities were more likely to report youth self-harm talk than caregivers from foster home settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)893-902
Number of pages10
JournalChild psychiatry and human development
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Child abuse/neglect
  • Child maltreatment
  • Child/youth self-report
  • Concordance
  • Foster care
  • Multiple informants
  • Rates of youth suicidality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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