Gender differences in self-harm and drinking behaviors among high school students in Beijing, China
BackgroundSelf-harm and drinking were both serious problems in adolescents and many studies presented evidence of their association. However, gender differences in this association was seldom deeply discussed. Our study was aimed to evaluate the prevalence of self-harm and explore its association with drinking behaviors by gender and investigate the extent to which the gender differences exist in the association between self-harm and drinking. MethodsA total of 32,362 students in grades 7 to 12
... s in grades 7 to 12 were anonymously surveyed and included in our study using two-stage, stratified probability proportion sampling in Beijing, China. Self-harm, drinking behaviors and other basic information were obtained from anonymous questionnaire. Demographic variables, self-harm as well as drinking behaviors were analyzed with Chi-square test and Gamma test between genders and the gender differences in this association was analyzed by log-binomial regression. ResultsThe total prevalence of self-harm was 13.7% with no significant gender difference (B=0.352, P=0.553). The prevalence of self-harm decreased with age in girls (G=-0.163, P<0.001). Self-harm was associated with drinking behaviors in both boys and girls. The Log-binomial regression demonstrated that girls in 16-19 years were at lower risk of self-harm than girls in 12-15 years while this association was weaker in boys (1.493 vs 1.128). The higher OR for self-harm was found among girls with early drinking experiences compared with boys (2.565 vs 1.863). Girls who ever drunk (2.211 vs 1.636), were currently drinking (3.400 vs 2.122) and binged drinking (6.357 vs 3.924) were of greater risk for self-harm than boys. ConclusionSelf-harm has significant positive association with drinking among high school students and girls with drinking behaviors were at higher risk of suffering self-harm. Identifying adolescents' drinking behaviors is of vital importance to self-harm prevention and special attention should be focused on younger girls.