The association between deliberate self-harm and school bullying victimization and the mediating effect of depressive symptoms and self-stigma: A systematic review
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBioMed Research International. 2018.
Background. Identifying deliberate self-harm in the young and its relationship with bullying victimization is an important public health issue. Methods. A systematic review was performed to explore evidence of the association between deliberate self-harm and school bullying victimization in young people, as well as the mediating effect of depressive symptoms and self-stigma on this association. An advanced search in the following electronic databases was conducted in January 2018: PubMed/Medline; CINAHL; PsycINFO; PsycARTICLES; Science Direct; Scopus, and Cochrane Library. Studies that fulfilled the inclusion criteria were further assessed for theirmethodological integrity. The Norwegian Knowledge Centre for Health Services tool was applied for cross-sectional studies and the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme instrument for the cohort studies. Only empirical quantitative studies published in the English language in peer reviewed journals during the last decade (2007-2018) aimed at exploring the association between deliberate self-harm and school bullying victimization in community-based schoolchildren with a mean age of under 20 years were included. Results. The reviewed cross-sectional and cohort studies (22) revealed a positive association between school bullying victimization and deliberate self-harm, including nonsuicidal self-injury, which remained statistically significant when controlled for the main confounders. The mediating role of depressive symptoms in the association between deliberate self-harm and school bullying victimization was confirmed. A dose-response effect was shown in the association between nonsuicidal self-injury and school bullying victimization, whilst the mediating effect of depressive symptoms needs to be further explored. No studies were found directly exploring the mediating effect of self-stigma in the association between deliberate self-harm and bullying victimization. Conclusion. Targeted interventions aimed at eliminating victimization behaviours within the school context are therefore proposed, as well as interventions to promote healthy parenting styles for the parents of schoolchildren. Moreover, school healthcare professionals should screen students involved in bullying for self-injury, and vice versa.
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