Predicting the persistence of severe self-injurious behavior

Eric Emerson, Chris Kiernan, Alison Alborz, David Reeves, Heidi Mason, Rebecca Swarbrick, Linda Mason, Chris Hatton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Information was collected on 95 people with mental retardation who had been identified seven years previously as showing severe self-injurious behavior. At follow up 71% of participants were still showing self-injurious behavior of a severity which presented a management problem for care staff. The occurrence of specific topographies of self-injury was extremely stable among the group showing persistent self-injury. Finally, self-injury status at follow-up was predicted with 76% accuracy by a logistic regression model containing three variables: site of injury (higher persistence being shown by people exhibiting head directed self-injury); reported (greater) stability of self-injury when first identified; and (younger) age. Copyright © 2001 Elsevier Science Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-75
Number of pages8
JournalResearch in developmental disabilities
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • psychology: Mental Retardation
  • Middle Aged
  • psychology: Self-Injurious Behavior
  • Treatment Outcome


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