Personality and Individual Differences vol:42 issue:4 pages:611-621
Self-injurious behavior (SIB) is 1.5-3 times more likely in women than in men. However, there is minimal research on SIB in male populations. Therefore, we carried out a comparative study in 399 psychiatric inpatients (265 females and 134 males) by means of self-reporting questionnaires assessing SIB, psychopathological symptoms, personality disorders and aggression regulation. Compared to female patients with SIB (46.2%), males admitting SIB (31.3%) showed more burning, reported more pain experience, took less care of their wounds and concealed them less often; in males the SIB mainly served social-oriented functions (e.g., getting attention). Female SIB patients displayed more cutting, scored higher on agoraphobic and interpersonal sensitive complaints, and reported more often sexual abusive experiences. In both male and female patients SIB was linked to more clinical symptoms and personality disorders than in patients without SIB. In general, self-injury can be considered a sign of more severe psychopathology. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.